A Thermal Balancing Act

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Science  12 Mar 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5408, pp. 1652-1653
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5408.1652

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Heat is constantly transported from Earth's core through the mantle to the crust, where it results, for example, in volcanic eruptions. The heat transport depends on the thermal conductivity of the different materials in the core and the mantle, but for many years the numbers did not add up, and the power could not be balanced between the core and the mantle. Anderson now shows that a reevaluation of the thermal conductivity of the mantle by Hofmeister may balance the power.

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