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The Deep Roots of Catastrophe

A University of Utah seismologist analysed seismic waves that bombarded Earth's core, and believes he got a look at the earliest roots of Earth's most cataclysmic kind of volcanic eruption. But don't worry. He says it won't happen for perhaps 200 million years.
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Magma in mantle has deep impact

Magma forms far deeper than geologists previously thought, according to new research at Rice University.
A group led by geologist Rajdeep Dasgupta put very small samples of peridotite under very large pressures in a Rice laboratory to determine that rock can and does liquefy, at least in small amounts, as deep as 250 kilometres in the mantle beneath the ocean floor. He said this explains several puzzles that have bothered scientists.
Dasgupta is lead author of the paper to be published this week in Nature.

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A layer of searing hot liquid magma trapped since Earth's formation may lie 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometres) beneath our feet, new research suggests.
The finding backs up theories that Earth's solid lower mantle once housed a magma "ocean," and that some remnant of that molten material still exists today, like jam between two cake layers.

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21 May 2009

Magma pulses may reveal Earth's 'heartbeat'
Evidence from Hawaii and Iceland has indicated that the Earth may literally have a heartbeat, in the sense that the planet's core may be dispatching simultaneous plumes of magma towards the surface every 15 million years or so.
According to a report in New Scientist, if the hypothesis is true, it would revolutionise our ideas of what's happening far below our feet.

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