The mantle is the mostly-solid mass of Earth"s interior. The mantle lies in between Earth"s dense, super-heated core and also its thin external layer, the crust. The mantle is around 2,900 kilometers (1,802 miles) thick, and also makes up a whopping 84% of Earth’s full volume.

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The mantle is the mostly-solid bulk of Earth’s interior. The mantle lies in between Earth’s dense, super-heated core and its thin external layer, the crust. The mantle is about 2,900 kilometers (1,802 miles) thick, and also renders up a whopping 84% of Earth’s total volume.
As Planet began to take form about 4.5 billion years earlier, iron and nickel quickly separated from various other rocks and minerals to form the core of the new world. The molten material that surrounded the core was the early on mantle.
Over countless years, the mantle cooled. Water trapped inside minerals erupted via lava, a process referred to as “outgassing.” As more water was outgassed, the mantle solidified.
The rocks that comprise Earth’s mantle are mostly silicates—a wide selection of compounds that share a silsymbol and also oxygen framework. Usual silicates uncovered in the mantle encompass olivine, garnet, and pyroxene. The various other major kind of rock uncovered in the mantle is magnesium oxide. Other mantle aspects incorporate iron, aluminum, calcium, sodium, and also potassium.
The temperature of the mantle varies substantially, from 1000° Celsius (1832° Fahrenheit) near its boundary via the crust, to 3700° Celsius (6692° Fahrenheit) close to its boundary through the core. In the mantle, warmth and also press primarily increase with depth. The geothermal gradient is a measurement of this rise. In the majority of places, the geothermal gradient is around 25° Celsius per kilometer of depth (1° Fahrenheit per 70 feet of depth).
The viscosity of the mantle likewise varies greatly. It is largely solid rock, however less viscous at tectonic plate boundaries and mantle plumes. Mantle rocks there are soft and able to relocate plastically (over the course of numerous years) at great depth and press.
The transport of warmth and product in the mantle helps identify the landscape of Planet. Activity in the mantle drives plate tectonics, contributing to volcanoes, seafloor spanalysis, earthquakes, and orogeny (mountain-building).
The mantle is split into a number of layers: the upper mantle, the change zone, the reduced mantle, and D” (D double-prime), the strange area wright here the mantle meets the outer core.
The upper mantle exoften tends from the crust to a depth of about 410 kilometers (255 miles). The upper mantle is largely solid, however its even more malleable areas add to tectonic activity.
Two components of the upper mantle are frequently well-known as unique areas in Earth’s interior: the lithospbelow and also the asthenospright here.
The lithospright here is the solid, external part of the Earth, extfinishing to a depth of around 100 kilometers (62 miles). The lithospbelow includes both the crust and the brittle top percentage of the mantle. The lithosphere is both the coolest and also the the majority of rigid of Earth’s layers.
The many famous feature connected through Earth’s lithospright here is tectonic activity. Tectonic activity defines the interactivity of the astronomical slabs of lithospright here dubbed tectonic plates. The lithosphere is split into 15 significant tectonic plates: the North Amerihave the right to, Caribbean, South Amerihave the right to, Scotia, Antarctic, Eurasian, Arabian, Afrideserve to, Indian, Philippine, Australian, Pacific, Juan de Fuca, Cocos, and also Nazca.
The department in the lithospbelow in between the crust and the mantle is called the Mohorovicic discontinuity, or simply the Moho. The Moho does not exist at a unicreate depth, bereason not all areas of Earth are equally well balanced in isostatic equilibrium. Isostasy explains the physical, chemical, and mechanical differences that permit the crust to “float” on the sometimes more malleable mantle. The Moho is found at around 8 kilometers (5 miles) beneath the ocean and around 32 kilometers (20 miles) beneath continents.
Different types of rocks differentiate lithospheric crust and also mantle. Lithospheric crust is identified by gneiss (continental crust) and gabbro (oceanic crust). Below the Moho, the mantle is identified by peridotite, a rock mainly comprised of the minerals olivine and pyroxene.
The asthenospbelow is the denser, weaker layer beneath the lithospheric mantle. It lies in between around 100 kilometers (62 miles) and also 410 kilometers (255 miles) beneath Earth’s surface. The temperature and push of the asthenosphere are so high that rocks soften and partly melt, ending up being semi-molten.
The asthenosphere is a lot even more ductile than either the lithospright here or reduced mantle. Ductility measures a solid material’s capacity to dedevelop or stretch under anxiety. The asthenospright here is primarily more viscous than the lithosphere, and the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) is the suggest wright here geologists and rheologists—researchers that study the circulation of matter—note the difference in ductility in between the 2 layers of the top mantle.
The exceptionally sluggish motion of lithospheric plates “floating” on the asthenospbelow is the reason of plate tectonics, a process connected with continental drift, earthquakes, the formation of mountains, and also volcanoes. In fact, the lava that erupts from volcanic fissures is actually the asthenosphere itself, melted into magma.
Of course, tectonic plates are not really floating, because the asthenospright here is not liquid. Tectonic plates are only unsteady at their borders and also hot spots.
From about 410 kilometers (255 miles) to 660 kilometers (410 miles) beneath Earth’s surconfront, rocks undergo radical revolutions. This is the mantle’s change zone.
In the shift zone, rocks execute not melt or disincorporate. Instead, their crystalline structure changes in vital ways. Rocks become a lot, much more dense.
The transition zone prevents big exchanges of product in between the upper and reduced mantle. Some geologists think that the increased thickness of rocks in the transition zone stays clear of subducted slabs from the lithospbelow from falling better right into the mantle. These expensive pieces of tectonic plates stall in the shift zone for numerous years before mixing through various other mantle rock and also ultimately returning to the top mantle as part of the asthenospbelow, erupting as lava, becoming part of the lithosphere, or emerging as new oceanic crust at sites of seafloor spanalysis.
Some geologists and rheologists, but, think subducted slabs have the right to slip beneath the shift zone to the lower mantle. Other proof says that the shift layer is permeable, and the top and reduced mantle exadjust some amount of material.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the mantle’s change zone is its abundance of water. Crystals in the shift zone host as a lot water as all the seas on Earth’s surchallenge.
Water in the change zone is not “water” as we recognize it. It is not liquid, vapor, solid, or also plasma. Instead, water exists as hydroxide. Hydroxide is an ion of hydrogen and also oxygen with an adverse charge. In the change zone, hydroxide ions are trapped in the crystalline framework of rocks such as ringwoodite and wadsleyite. These minerals are created from olivine at extremely high temperatures and press.
Near the bottom of the shift zone, increasing temperature and press transdevelop ringwoodite and also wadsleyite. Their crystal frameworks are damaged and also hydroxide escapes as “melt.” Melt particles circulation upwards, toward minerals that deserve to organize water. This enables the shift zone to maintain a constant reservoir of water.
Geologists and rheologists think that water gone into the mantle from Earth’s surface in the time of subduction. Subduction is the procedure in which a dense tectonic plate slips or melts beneath a much more buoyant one. Most subduction happens as an oceanic plate slips beneath a less-thick plate. Alengthy via the rocks and minerals of the lithospright here, loads of water and carbon are additionally transported to the mantle. Hydroxide and also water are went back to the upper mantle, crust, and also also setting with mantle convection, volcanic eruptions, and also seafloor spreading.
The lower mantle exhas a tendency from around 660 kilometers (410 miles) to about 2,700 kilometers (1,678 miles) beneath Earth’s surchallenge. The lower mantle is hotter and also denser than the top mantle and also transition zone.
The reduced mantle is a lot less ductile than the top mantle and transition zone. Although warm typically synchronizes to softening rocks, intense push keeps the lower mantle solid.
Geologists execute not agree about the structure of the reduced mantle. Some geologists think that subducted slabs of lithospright here have actually settled there. Other geologists think that the lower mantle is entirely unmoving and also does not also move warm by convection.
Beneath the lower mantle is a shallow region dubbed D"", or “d double-prime.” In some locations, D’’ is a nearly razor-thin boundary with the external core. In various other areas, D’’ has thick accumulations of iron and also silicates. In still various other areas, geologists and seismologists have detected locations of expensive melt.
The unpredictable activity of materials in D’’ is influenced by the reduced mantle and outer core. The iron of the external core influences the formation of a diapir, a dome-shaped geologic function (igneous intrusion) where more fluid product is forced right into brittle overlying rock. The iron diapir emits heat and also might release a vast, bulging pulse of either material or energy—just favor a Lava Lamp. This power blooms upward, transporting heat to the lower mantle and change zone, and also maybe even erupting as a mantle plume.
At the base of the mantle, around 2,900 kilometers (1,802 miles) listed below the surface, is the core-mantle boundary, or CMB. This suggest, referred to as the Gutenberg discontinuity, marks the finish of the mantle and the start of Earth’s liquid external core.
Mantle convection explains the motion of the mantle as it transfers warmth from the white-warm core to the brittle lithosphere. The mantle is heated from below, cooled from over, and its as a whole temperature decreases over long periods of time. All these aspects add to mantle convection.
Convection currents deliver hot, buoyant magma to the lithosphere at plate boundaries and hot spots. Convection currents also move denser, cooler material from the crust to Earth’s interior with the process of subduction.
Earth"s heat budobtain, which procedures the circulation of thermal energy from the core to the setting, is overcame by mantle convection. Earth’s warm budgain drives most geologic processes on Planet, although its power output is dwarfed by solar radiation at the surconfront.
Geologists controversy whether mantle convection is “whole” or “layered.” Whole-mantle convection explains a lengthy, long recycling procedure including the upper mantle, shift zone, lower mantle, and also also D’’. In this model, the mantle convects in a single procedure. A subducted slab of lithospbelow might progressively slip into the top mantle and loss to the change zone due to its family member thickness and also coolness. Over countless years, it may sink even more into the reduced mantle. Convection currents may then transfer the warm, buoyant product in D’’ earlier through the other layers of the mantle. Several of that material may also arise as lithospbelow aget, as it is spilled onto the crust through volcanic eruptions or seafloor spanalysis.
Layered-mantle convection defines 2 procedures. Plumes of superheated mantle product may bubble up from the reduced mantle and also warmth an area in the transition zone before falling back. Above the change zone, convection may be influenced by warm transferred from the reduced mantle and also discrete convection currental fees in the upper mantle moved by subduction and also seafloor spreading. Mantle plumes emanating from the top mantle may gush up through the lithospright here as hot spots.
A mantle plume is an upwelling of superheated rock from the mantle. Mantle plumes are the most likely cause of “hot spots,” volcanic areas not produced by plate tectonics. As a mantle plume reaches the upper mantle, it melts right into a diapir. This molten product heats the asthenospbelow and also lithospbelow, triggering volcanic eruptions. These volcanic eruptions make a minor contribution to warmth loss from Earth’s inner, although tectonic activity at plate borders is the leading reason of such heat loss.
The Hawaiian warm spot, in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean, sits above a most likely mantle plume. As the Pacific plate moves in a primarily northwestern activity, the Hawaiian hot spot continues to be fairly addressed. Geologists think this has enabled the Hawaiian hot spot to develop a collection of volcanoes, from the 85-million-year-old Meiji Seamount close to Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, to the Loihi Seamount, a submarine volcano southeast of the “Big Island” of Hawaii. Loihi, a mere 400,000 years old, will certainly eventually become the newest Hawaiian island also.
Geologists have determined 2 so-dubbed “superplumes.” These superplumes, or big low shear velocity districts (LLSVPs), have their origins in the melt product of D’’. The Pacific LLSVP impacts geology throughout the majority of of the southern Pacific Ocean (including the Hawaiian warm spot). The Afrideserve to LLSVP influences the geology throughout the majority of of southern and western Africa.
Geologists think mantle plumes may be influenced by many type of different factors. Some may pulse, while others may be heated continually. Some may have a solitary diapir, while others might have actually multiple “stems.” Some mantle plumes might arise in the middle of a tectonic plate, while others may be “captured” by seafloor spreading zones.
Some geologists have figured out even more than a thousand mantle plumes. Some geologists think mantle plumes don’t exist at all. Until tools and also technology permit geologists to more thoaround explore the mantle, the dispute will continue.
The mantle has never been straight explored. Even the the majority of advanced drilling devices has not got to beyond the crust.
Drilling all the way dvery own to the Moho (the division in between the Earth"s crust and mantle) is a crucial clinical milestone, however despite decades of effort, nobody has yet succeeded. In 2005, scientists through the Integrated Ocean Drilling Project drilled 1,416 meters (4,644 feet) listed below the North Atlantic seafloor and claimed to have come within just 305 meters (1,000 feet) of the Moho.
Many kind of geologists study the mantle by analyzing xenoliths. Xenoliths are a kind of intrusion—a rock trapped inside an additional rock.
The xenoliths that administer the a lot of indevelopment about the mantle are diamonds. Diamonds create under extremely unique conditions: in the upper mantle, at least 150 kilometers (93 miles) beneath the surchallenge. Above depth and also pressure, the carbon crystallizes as graphite, not diamond. Diamonds are lugged to the surconfront in explosive volcanic eruptions, creating “diamond pipes” of rocks called kimberlites and also lamprolites.
The diamonds themselves are of much less interest to geologists than the xenoliths some contain. These intrusions are minerals from the mantle, trapped inside the rock-difficult diamond. Diamond intrusions have actually permitted researchers to glimpse as much as 700 kilometers (435 miles) beneath Earth’s surface—the lower mantle.
Xenolith research studies have actually revealed that rocks in the deep mantle are the majority of most likely 3-billion-year old slabs of subducted seafloor. The diamond intrusions encompass water, sea sediments, and also carbon.
Many mantle researches are conducted by measuring the spread of shock waves from earthquakes, dubbed seismic waves. The seismic waves measured in mantle studies are called body waves, because these waves take a trip through the body of the Earth. The velocity of body waves differs via density, temperature, and also form of rock.
There are two types of body waves: major waves, or P-waves, and secondary waves, or S-waves. P-waves, also called pressure waves, are formed by compressions. Sound waves are P-waves—seismic P-waves are simply far also low a frequency for people to hear. S-waves, also dubbed shear waves, measure movement perpendicular to the power transfer. S-waves are unable to transmit via fluids or gases.
Instruments placed roughly the human being measure these waves as they arrive at different points on the Earth’s surchallenge after an earthquake. P-waves (primary waves) generally arrive first, while s-waves arrive soon after. Both body waves “reflect” off different forms of rocks in different ways. This enables seismologists to identify various rocks existing in Earth’s crust and also mantle far beneath the surchallenge. Seismic reflections, for circumstances, are used to recognize hidden oil deposits deep listed below the surchallenge.
Sudden, predictable alters in the velocities of body waves are dubbed “seismic discontinuities.” The Moho is a discontinuity marking the boundary of the crust and also upper mantle. The so-dubbed “410-kilometer discontinuity” marks the boundary of the change zone.
The Gutenberg discontinuity is more popularly recognized as the core-mantle boundary (CMB). At the CMB, S-waves, which can’t proceed in liquid, all of a sudden disshow up, and P-waves are strongly refracted, or bent. This advises seismologists that the solid and also molten structure of the mantle has given means to the fiery liquid of the external core.
Cutting-edge innovation has allowed contemporary geologists and also seismologists to develop mantle maps. Most mantle maps display screen seismic velocities, revealing patterns deep below Earth’s surconfront.
Geoscientists hope that innovative mantle maps can plot the body waves of as many as 6,000 earthquakes via magnitudes of at least 5.5. These mantle maps might be able to identify primitive slabs of subducted material and the precise place and also movement of tectonic plates. Many kind of geologists think mantle maps may also provide proof for mantle plumes and also their structure.

The mantle, in between the brittle crust and super-dense core, makes up a whopping 84% of Earth’s full volume.

Illustration by Ewalde1, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

Some mantle maps screen electrical conductivity, not seismic waves. By mapping disturbances in electric patterns, researchers have actually aided determine surprise “reservoirs” of water in the mantle.
Explosions, simply like earthquakes, cause seismic waves. Body waves from effective nuclear explosions may have revealed ideas around Earth’s interior—however such seismic research is prohibited as part of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Planet is the just planet in our solar device through a continually active mantle. Mercury and Mars have actually solid, unmoving internal frameworks. Venus has actually an energetic mantle, yet the structure of its crust and also environment prevent it from altering the Venusian landscape extremely regularly.

type of mineral that is clear and also, once regarded under a microscope, has a repeating pattern of atoms and also molecules.

dome-shaped geologic attribute (intrusion) wright here more fluid material is forced right into brittle overlying rock.

dome-shaped geologic feature (intrusion) wright here even more fluid material is compelled into brittle overlying rock.

the sudden shaking of Earth"s crust brought about by the release of power alengthy fault lines or from volcanic activity.

measurement of the flow of thermal power from the core to the environment, conquered by took in and also reflected solar radiation.

progressive change in temperature from the Earth"s core (hot) to its crust (cool), around 25° Celsus per kilometer of depth (1° Fahrenheit per 70 feet of depth).

strongly warm region deep within the Planet that rises to simply underneath the surchallenge. Some warm spots create volcanoes.

rock development created by magma as it is puburned from the Earth"s mantle into cracks or holes in the crust.

equilibrium of Earth"s crust, wright here the forces tending to elevate landmasses balance those tfinishing to depush them. Also referred to as isostatic equilibrium.

chemical and mechanical difference between the cool, rigid lithospbelow and the warmer, more ductile asthenospbelow.

(huge low shear velocity province) seismically anomalous area at the deepest component of Earth"s mantle. Also referred to as a superplume or thermo-chemical pile.

sluggish activity of Earth"s solid mantle brought about by convection currents moving heat from the interior of the Planet to the surface.

fossil fuel developed from the continues to be of marine plants and pets. Also well-known as petroleum or crude oil.

seismic shock wave that represents longitudinal movement. Also referred to as a major wave or pressure wave.

any type of location on Earth via one or even more widespread features. Regions are the standard devices of geography.

seismic shock wave that represents perpendicular activity. Also referred to as a secondary wave or shear wave.

movement of tectonic plates bring about geologic task such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

enormous slab of solid rock comprised of Earth"s lithosphere (crust and top mantle). Also dubbed lithospheric plate.

areas in the Earth"s interior between the upper mantle, near the Earth"s crust, and the lower mantle, near the Earth"s core.

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an opening in the Earth"s crust, through which lava, ash, and also gases erupt, and additionally the cone constructed by eruptions.


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