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Volcanoes, diamonds, and blobs: a billion-year history of Earth's interior shows it's more mobile than we thought

By Nicolas Flament, Senior Lecturer, University of Wollongong
Andrew Merdith, Research fellow, University of Leeds
Ömer F. Bodur, Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Wollongong
Simon Williams, Research Fellow, Northwest University, Xi'an
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Deep in the Earth beneath us lie two blobs the size of continents. One is under Africa, the other under the Pacific Ocean.

The blobs have their roots 2,900km below the surface, almost halfway to the centre of the Earth. They are thought to be the birthplace of rising columns of hot rock called “deep mantle plumes” that reach Earth’s surface.

When these plumes first reach the surface, giant volcanic eruptions occur – the kind that contributed to the extinction of the dinosaurs 65.5 million years ago. The blobs may also control the eruption of a kind of rock called kimberlite,…The Conversation


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