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Lava Temperature Inside Earth's Mantle Still As High As 2.5 Billion Years Ago

First Posted: May 24, 2017 05:50 AM EDT
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The lava found in the deep parts of the Earth’s mantle might still be as hot as it was over 2.5 billion years ago, a new study has found out. The planet’s mantle may have been cooling down for billions of years; however, deep down a mantle plume seems to be bubbling away.

According to Seeker, scientists have found lava in deep portions of Earth's mantle that might be as hot as it was more than 2.5 billion years ago. Scientists have found that the Galapagos plume, which is thought to originate at the border of the Earth’s core and mantle, is upwelling hot material. Extremely hot material rises from this boundary all the way to the Earth’s surface, where it erupts from volcanoes in the form of magma.

Sometimes the rising material can cool down after mixing with the surrounding material, whereas during other times it stays relatively untouched while rising. The latter can lead to eruptions with temperatures as high as 1,600°C, which makes them nearly 400°C hotter than the ordinary mantle today.

The last such eruption occurred at the Galapagos plume around 89 million years ago, leading to the creation of land that has since then moved to the Costa Rican coast. Eighty-nine million years ago may seem like too long ago; however, it translates to just the blink of an eye in geological terms.

"90 million years in geological history is nothing – this is like it happened a couple of minutes ago," said lead researcher Esteban Gazel, as Zee News reported. "So potentially the temperatures of the core-mantle-boundary are still the same. So there is a chance that we could get lava at that temperature."

The researcher also added that Yellowstone, Hawaii and the Galapagos Islands are examples of places where the exceedingly hot mantle is rising from the core-mantle boundary.

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