EarthByte Models Mantle Plumes Through Space and Time

Deep Carbon Observatory member, Sabin Zahirovic explains why the Earth is like a giant, spherical lava lamp. The intense heat at the core drives plumes of mantle material up to the cooler surface where it solidifies as part of tectonic plates. Over geologic timescales, the edges of those plates eventually sink back into the mantle in a process called subduction, which contributes to convection. The churning of Earth’s interior controls the movement of the plates at the surface, which in turn regulates the balance of carbon between the atmosphere and the subsurface, moderating climate. Ultimately, it is these swirling, lava lamp-like processes that make our planet habitable. The story is based on the geodynamic models by Rakib Hassan, now at Geoscience Australia.

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