DNA - Sputnik International, 1920
Science & Tech
Discover the latest science and technology news from Sputnik including the inventions and scientific breakthroughs that are shaping the world.

New Study Sheds Light on Two Mysterious Blobs Located Deep Inside Our Planet

CC BY-SA 2.0 / Argonne National Laboratory / Composition of Earth’s mantleComposition of Earth’s mantle revisited thanks to research at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source
Composition of Earth’s mantle revisited thanks to research at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.03.2022
Located in the lowermost mantle on opposite sides of the Earth, the Large Low-Shear-Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs) extend laterally for thousands of kilometres. Not much is known about these bizarre giants because scientists are not able to access them directly.
Scientists from Arizona State University claim that their new study on the Large Low-Shear-Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs) sheds light on two mysterious blobs deep inside our planet. Using geodynamic modelling, the researchers were able to establish the LLSVPs' height and density.
It turns out that the blob located beneath the African continent is around 1,000 kilometres higher than its sibling, which is located under the Pacific Ocean. Scientists say the difference in height could be explained by how dense the two giants are.
The one under Africa appears to be of a lower density than the blob under the Pacific Ocean, which researchers say indicates that they have a different composition and evolution.

“The Africa LLVP may have been rising in recent geological time. This may explain the elevating surface topography and intense volcanism in eastern Africa”, said Minming Li, co-author of the study.

The different composition of the LLVPs can be explained by their origin, although the scientific community has different opinions as to how the blobs came to be. According to one hypothesis, they are the remnants of a collision between Earth and the protoplanet Thea. According to another, the LLVPs were made from subducted tectonic plates that slip into the Earth’s mantle.

The scientists say the results of their study provide new insights on the nature of the Earth's largest structures in the deep interior and their interaction with the surrounding mantle.

"This work has far-reaching implications for scientists trying to understand the present-day status and the evolution of the deep mantle structure, and the nature of mantle convection", said geologist Qian Yuan.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала