Scientists find giant mantle plume (similar to Yellowstone) under Antarctica

The Extinction Protocol

December 12, 2013ANTARTICAA big, hot blob hiding beneath the bottom of the world could be evidence of a long-sought mantle plume under West Antarctica, researchers said Monday (Dec. 9) here at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. The possible hotspot — a plume of superheated rock rising from Earth’s mantle — sits under Marie Byrd Land, a broad dome at West Antarctica’s edge where many active volcanoes above and below the ice spit lava and ash. The hot zone was discovered with seismic imaging techniques that rely on earthquake waves to build pictures of Earth’s inner layers, similar to how a CT scan works. Beneath Marie Byrd Land, earthquake waves slow down, suggesting the mantle here is warmer than surrounding rocks. The strongest low-velocity zone sits below Marie Byrd Land’s Executive Committee Range, directly under the Mount Sidley volcano, said Andrew Lloyd, a graduate…

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