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Seismic evidence for partial melting at the root of major hot spot plumes

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Science  28 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6349, pp. 393-397
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan0760

Iceland's molten roots

Major hot spot plumes are responsible for basaltic ocean island chains such as Hawaii. Yuan and Romanowicz used seismic tomography, which constructs an x-ray–like picture of Earth's interior from seismic waves, to show that the root of Iceland's hot spot plume is partially molten. The partially molten region is located near Earth's core-mantle boundary and has been challenging to image with geophysical methods. This approach may be applicable to other hot spots with similar areas of melts or other enigmatic regions in the lower mantle.

Science, this issue p. 393

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