Category Archives: Earth Magazine

Mantle Recycles Far Faster Than Thought

The magma that rises from the mantle, forming new islands, may blast more than it bubbles. Where those plumes of magma originate — at the core-mantle boundary or the mantle-crust boundary — and how fast they rise to the surface are still open questions among volcanologists. But now a new study of minerals from the volcano Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii suggests that some elements made a 2,900-kilometer-long journey from the core-mantle boundary to Earth’s surface in as little as half a million years — quadruple the speed found by previous studies. Continue reading Mantle Recycles Far Faster Than Thought

Banded Iron Formations Have Microbial Link?

A pair of mineral clues recently found in a fossil seafloor may be signs that ancient bacteria helped create banded iron formations — Precambrian-aged sedimentary rocks known for their vibrant, reddish- brown-colored thin layers — that researchers use to reconstruct ancient interactions between the atmosphere, the ocean and the seafloor.