A stiff new layer in Earth’s mantle? Earth’s interior hotter than previously believed

A stiff new layer in Earth’s mantle? Earth’s interior hotter than previously believed – theextinctionprotocol.com

earth-mantleBy crushing minerals between diamonds, a University of Utah study suggests the existence of an unknown layer inside Earth: part of the lower mantle where the rock gets three times stiffer. The discovery may explain a mystery: why slabs of Earth’s sinking tectonic plates sometimes stall and thicken 930 miles underground. The findings — published today in the journal Nature Geoscience — also may explain some deep earthquakes, hint that Earth’s interior is hotter than believed, and suggest why partly molten rock or magmas feeding mid-ocean-ridge volcanoes such as Iceland’s differ chemically from magmas supplying island volcanoes like Hawaii’s. “The Earth has many layers, like an onion,” says Lowell Miyagi, an assistant professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah. “

Most layers are defined by the minerals that are present. Essentially, we have discovered a new layer in the Earth. This layer isn’t defined by the minerals present, but by the strength of these minerals.” Earth’s main layers are the thin crust 4 to 50 miles deep (thinner under oceans, thicker under continents), a mantle extending 1,800 miles deep and the iron core. But there are subdivisions. The crust and some of the upper mantle form 60- to 90-mile-thick tectonic or lithospheric plates that are like the top side of conveyor belts carrying continents and seafloors. Read full Article