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Mantle Plumes And Their Effects Springerbriefs In Earth System Sciences

Jese Leos
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Mantle plumes are rising columns of hot material within the Earth's mantle, extending from deep within the Earth to the surface. They are a fundamental process in the Earth's dynamic system, influencing a diverse range of surface and deep Earth phenomena, including volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and the evolution of mountain belts.

Formation and Characterization of Mantle Plumes

Mantle plumes originate from thermal instabilities within the Earth's mantle, a layer beneath the Earth's crust. The precise mechanisms are still debated by scientists, but they are thought to arise when hotter, less dense mantle material rises buoyancy through the surrounding cooler, denser mantle.

Identifying mantle plumes is challenging, as they do not have a distinct physical boundary. Scientists use a combination of geophysical techniques, including seismic tomography, gravity, and magnetic field measurements, to identify and study these plumes.

Mantle Plumes and Their Effects (SpringerBriefs in Earth System Sciences)
Mantle Plumes and Their Effects (SpringerBriefs in Earth System Sciences)

5 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 9072 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
Print length : 228 pages

Surficial Expressions of Mantle Plumes

The most visible expressions of mantle plumes are volcanic eruptions. When the plume reaches the surface, it melts the overlying lithosphere, the rigid outermost layer of the Earth, causing the formation of volcanoes. The resulting volcanic activity can be explosive or effusive, depending on the composition of the magma.

Other surficial expressions include hot springs, geothermal fields, and the formation of topographic features such as swells and domes. The shape of these features reflects the flow pattern and temperature of the mantle plume.

Plate Tectonics and Mantle Plumes

Mantle plumes interact with plate tectonics, the process that drives the movement of the Earth's lithospheric plates. Plumes can create or break up plates, and they can also influence their motion.

Hotspots, which are fixed points of volcanic activity on the Earth's surface, originate from mantle plumes. As the plate moves over the plume, continuous volcanic eruptions form a chain of volcanic islands or mountains. The Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain is a classic example.

Deep Earth Impacts of Mantle Plumes

Mantle plumes also have significant deep Earth impacts. They can cause partial melting of the mantle, generating new crustal material and contributing to the growth of continents. Plumes can also transport heat and material from deep within the Earth to the surface, affecting the composition and temperature of the Earth's layers.

Environmental and Societal Implications of Mantle Plumes

The activity associated with mantle plumes has implications for the environment and society. Volcanic eruptions can release hazardous gases and ash, affecting air quality and climate. The formation of new landforms can change ecosystems and impact local populations. Geothermal fields, heated by mantle plumes, provide a renewable energy source but also pose potential risks such as ground subsidence.

Mantle plumes are intriguing and dynamic phenomena that have profound effects on the Earth system. Understanding mantle plumes is essential to comprehending the Earth's evolution, volcanic and seismic hazards, and geothermal energy potential. By exploring the formation, characterization, and impacts of mantle plumes, scientists continue to unravel the complex processes that shape our planet.

Mantle Plumes and Their Effects (SpringerBriefs in Earth System Sciences)
Mantle Plumes and Their Effects (SpringerBriefs in Earth System Sciences)

5 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 9072 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
Print length : 228 pages
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Mantle Plumes and Their Effects (SpringerBriefs in Earth System Sciences)
Mantle Plumes and Their Effects (SpringerBriefs in Earth System Sciences)

5 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 9072 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
Print length : 228 pages
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