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What Goes Down, Must Come Up: Earth's Leaky Mantle

May 27, 2009

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Research in this week's Nature takes aim at a conundrum that has long vexed geoscientists: how to reconcile convection of the Earth's mantle with observations of ancient noble gases in volcanic rocks. Solving the problem requires that the recycling of tectonic plates into the Earth's lower mantle is balanced by hot, buoyant mantle plumes that rise with little mixing to the Earth's surface, producing volcanic island chains like Hawaii. Full Story

Rice University

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