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Jul 20, 2020

Scientists discover volcanoes on Venus are still active

Posted by in categories: geology, space

A new study identified 37 recently active volcanic structures on Venus. The study provides some of the best evidence yet that Venus is still a geologically active planet. A research paper on the work, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland and the Institute of Geophysics at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, was published in the journal Nature Geoscience on July 20, 2020.

“This is the first time we are able to point to specific structures and say ‘Look, this is not an ancient volcano but one that is active today, dormant perhaps, but not dead,’” said Laurent Montési, a professor of geology at UMD and co-author of the . “This study significantly changes the view of Venus from a mostly inactive planet to one whose interior is still churning and can feed many .”

Scientists have known for some time that Venus has a younger surface than like Mars and Mercury, which have cold interiors. Evidence of a warm interior and dots the surface of the planet in the form of ring-like structures known as , which form when plumes of hot material deep inside the planet rise through the mantle layer and crust. This is similar to the way mantle plumes formed the volcanic Hawaiian Islands.

Jun 13, 2020

Unexpected Widespread Structures Detected Near Earth’s Core – “A Totally New Perspective”

Posted by in category: geology

University of Maryland researchers conduct first simultaneous analysis of hundreds of earthquakes to identify echoes from features deep inside Earth.

University of Maryland geophysicists analyzed thousands of recordings of seismic waves, sound waves traveling through the Earth, to identify echoes from the boundary between Earth’s molten core and the solid mantle layer above it. The echoes revealed more widespread, heterogenous structures—areas of unusually dense, hot rock—at the core-mantle boundary than previously known.

Scientists are unsure of the composition of these structures, and previous studies have provided only a limited view of them. Better understanding their shape and extent can help reveal the geologic processes happening deep inside Earth. This knowledge may provide clues to the workings of plate tectonics and the evolution of our planet.

Continue reading “Unexpected Widespread Structures Detected Near Earth’s Core – ‘A Totally New Perspective’” »

Jun 12, 2020

Scientists detect unexpected widespread structures near Earth’s core

Posted by in category: geology

University of Maryland geophysicists analyzed thousands of recordings of seismic waves, sound waves traveling through the Earth, to identify echoes from the boundary between Earth’s molten core and the solid mantle layer above it. The echoes revealed more widespread, heterogenous structures—areas of unusually dense, hot rock—at the core-mantle boundary than previously known.

Scientists are unsure of the composition of these structures, and previous studies have provided only a limited view of them. Better understanding their shape and extent can help reveal the geologic processes happening deep inside Earth. This knowledge may provide clues to the workings of plate tectonics and the evolution of our planet.

The new research provides the first comprehensive view of the core-mantle boundary over a wide area with such detailed resolution. The study was published in the June 12, 2020, issue of the journal Science.