The Atlantic Ocean is steadily rising wider, and our standard understanding of plate tectonics can’t fairly clarify why.
When scientists from Italy and the U.Ok. dropped 39 seismometers to the underside of the Atlantic to raised perceive seismic exercise beneath the crust again in 2016, they anticipated their findings to be “very boring,” Gizmodo reports. As an alternative, they are saying they’ve uncovered a weird new phenomenon that appears to be pushing the sides of the ocean farther aside, partially rewriting what scientists know about tectonic plates’ gradual movement.
It seems that the mantle beneath the Atlantic is a hotbed of seismic exercise, based on the team’s research, printed Wednesday within the journal Nature. Beneath the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, upwellings of magma within the decrease mantle are pushing upward and outward like gigantic underwater pimples, although in order for you a less-gross instance, Gizmodo likened it to the method of pushing a pizza dough out from the middle.
That’s the identical phenomenon that created volcanic islands like Hawaii and Iceland, besides these upwellings aren’t truly erupting or reaching the floor.
Scientists sometimes assumed that the Atlantic Ocean was far calmer than the Pacific, at the very least from a geologic standpoint. However the brand new examine means that it’s much more energetic in plate tectonic actions than scientists believed.
That stated, there’s a number of work left to completely perceive what’s occurring — examine coauthor and College of Southampton seismologist Nick Harmon instructed Gizmodo that even their finest information seems like a “blurry CAT scan.”
READ MORE: The Atlantic Ocean Is Getting Wider Thanks to Upwelling Magma [Gizmodo]
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