Peeling Back the Layers in Earth's Mantle

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Science  12 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5541, pp. 313
DOI: 10.1126/science.1065715

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Seismic studies are providing ever more detailed information about the structure of Earth's mantle. But as Vidale explains in his Perspective, knowledge of the mantle is still patchy and new data can provide surprises. He discusses the results of Deuss and Woodhouse, who have studied a weak boundary in the mantle. The new results help to constrain the temperature and composition in a difficult-to-study depth range but do not match expectations from other geophysical models, possibly leading to new insights.