Geochemistry

A sizzling mantle under the Galapagos

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Science  07 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6346, pp. 44-45
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6346.44-a

A volcanic caldera on Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

PHOTO: MINT IMAGES, FRANS LANTING/GETTY IMAGES

The temperature of Earth's mantle is relatively uniform, but certain “hot spots” responsible for some surface volcanism require locally hotter regions. Trela et al. find evidence for a much hotter mantle region by looking at the chemistry of a recent Tortugal lava suite from the Galapagos hot spot. The chemistry requires mantle temperatures that are a surprising 400°C higher than average. The result indicates a very hot region isolated from mantle convection, likely preserved from many billions of years ago.

Nat. Geosci. 10.1038/NGEO2954 (2017).

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