A huge subterranean ‘tree’ that transports magma to the Earth’s surface

Combining data from the Giant Array with additional seismic data sets proved useful, allowing the team to accurately resolve an entire swath of the mantle, from its depths to its highest ranges. “In terms of seismology, it’s a step forward,” he said. Carolina Lithgow Bertiloni, a geophysicist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “In that sense, I think it’s cool.”

The tree’s structure is an “interesting observation,” Fitton said, and the team’s model of how it branches out from the core is a “quite clever idea.” But he cautions that their exact model for what’s happening in the mantle is just one of several possible explanations for what’s going on. “I think that’s a really cool idea,” Reichert said. “I don’t know if that’s the right idea, but it’s great.”

“The seismic tomography is a snapshot of the day,” Lithgow Bertiloni said. She warns that taking snapshots of current structures and speculating about how they formed over millions of years, and how they will continue to evolve, is full of uncertainty.

upcoming disasters

If the team’s theoretical model is correct, it supports two long sets of ideas. The first, Goes said, is that the Earth’s plumes are “not as simple as just forming a lightning bolt in a syrup can in the lab.” Nature is complex, and often surprising.

The second is that these giant blobs have played and will continue to play a pivotal role in the planet’s turbulent history.

Some scientists suspect that plumes from the African giant point spent at least 120 million years tearing the ancient subcontinent Gondwana to shreds. The pillars rose to their base, heating them and weakening them. Like moles making hills, they caused the ground above these pillars to rise, then slide down the hill. Australia was decompressed from India and Antarctica, Madagascar from Africa, and the tiny continent of Seychelles from India – an act of devastation that created the Indian Ocean.

If a pillar or pillars under East Africa continue their attack, they will contribute to the future The disintegration of the African continent: Specifically, the disintegration of East Africa and the creation of a new micro-continent floating alongside the world’s newest ocean.

But this future tectonic divorce seems insignificant when you consider the catastrophe that could hit the southern tip of the continent. The team estimates that within tens of millions of years, a mass of nightmarishly massive descent will rise from the central outcrop and rise to meet what is now the foundations of South Africa. This would produce catastrophic volcanic eruptions, Sigloch said. The Deccan Traps resulted from what we thought was a lone cloak pole. Despite this, this futuristic mega-point would be able to produce volcanoes so prolific and large-scale that Deccan Traps would be a firecracker by comparison.

Imagining a volcanic apocalypse in the future can be disconcerting. But this is precisely why it is important to draw accurate portraits of the columns: they are rulers in life and death.

Yet, for all the chaos it causes, it’s an essential part of the ongoing cycle of plate tectonics, the ones that intermittently bury and erupt carbon and water and have, miraculously, Led to a habitable planet With breathable atmosphere and vast oceans – a paradise created by the immemorial giant. “Knowing how a planet has been able to do this for billions of years to basically allow human existence is important,” Reichert said.

It would be some time before the Mantle Beasts were fully understood. Until that day comes, the scientists will continue to paint the shape-shifting cloak, all the while listening for the many monsters moving away from its feet.

original story Reprinted with permission from Quanta MagazineAnd Independent editorial publication Simmons Foundation Its mission is to advance the general understanding of science by covering research developments and trends in mathematics, the physical sciences, and the life sciences.

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