Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

SMU Geophysicists Discover Large Blob Deep In The Earth

Date:
October 20, 1999
Source:
Southern Methodist University
Summary:
Southern Methodist University geophysicists, using the latest in seismic technology, have discovered a large blob of concentrated matter deep within the earth that may provide clues to better understanding of geological activities on our planet's surface.

DALLAS (SMU) -- Southern Methodist University geophysicists, using the latest in seismic technology, have discovered a large blob of concentrated matter deep within the earth that may provide clues to better understanding of geological activities on our planet's surface.

The concentrated matter, located more than 500 miles under the western Caribbean Sea, is about 80 miles thick by 380 miles tall, almost vertical, and is believed to be slowly descending vertically like the colored substance in a lava lamp. Scientists believe it may be an old subductive slab, but they are not certain how it moves.

SMU's Ileana Madalina Tibuleac made the surprising discovery while analyzing data gathered by sophisticated seismic equipment designed to detect underground nuclear tests. The equipment, which is being developed at SMU, is used to verify compliance with the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty now pending in Congress.

Tibuleac's findings were published in the Sept. 10 edition of Science magazine, the weekly journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Tibuleac is a post doctorate researcher in the Department of Geological Science in SMU's Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Co-author of the Science article is Dr. Eugene T. Herrin, Shuler-Foscue Professor of Geological Sciences at SMU, who headed development of computer programs and seismic monitoring technology used in detecting and analyzing seismic events.

Discovery of the concentration of anomalous matter involved analyzing parameters related to the geometrical path taken by rays from seismic events in the Caribbean's Windward Islands, Venezuela and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge to SMU's seismic monitoring station in Texas' Big Bend area and the Yellowknife station in northwestern Canada.

Scientists have long believed that the earth's lower mantle (about 450 to 1,800 miles below the earth's surface) was a homogeneous substance surrounding the earth's core. The new discovery raises questions about the composition of the lower mantle and the role it may play in seismic events close to the earth's surface, Tibuleac said.

Herrin has been involved in the development of seismic stations to detect underground nuclear explosions since 1987 with grants from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. He has developed computer software and operating standards for the system and coordinated installation of seismic stations in the U.S. and several other countries.

The system prioritizes seismic data, distinguishing between signals related to nuclear testing, chemical explosions, earthquakes and shuttle quakes (quakes produced by the passing of the space shuttle). The system provides a nonintrusive method of verifying compliance with terms of bans and limitations on underground nuclear testing. The goal of the research is to develop an international network to monitor nuclear explosions anywhere in the world.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Southern Methodist University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Southern Methodist University. "SMU Geophysicists Discover Large Blob Deep In The Earth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991020081357.htm>.
Southern Methodist University. (1999, October 20). SMU Geophysicists Discover Large Blob Deep In The Earth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991020081357.htm
Southern Methodist University. "SMU Geophysicists Discover Large Blob Deep In The Earth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991020081357.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Observation Boat to Protect Cetaceans During Ship Transfer

Observation Boat to Protect Cetaceans During Ship Transfer

AFP (July 22, 2014) As part of the 14-ship convoy that will accompany the Costa Concordia from the port of Giglio to the port of Genoa, there will be a boat carrying experts to look out for dolphins and whales from crossing the path of the Concordia. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

AP (July 21, 2014) New Orleans is the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort for cigarette butts. The city is rolling out dozens of containers for smokers to use when they discard their butts. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins