Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Natural "Lava Lamp" Draws Sea Floor Patterns

Date:
June 22, 2001
Source:
University Of California, Davis
Summary:
Giant V-shaped ridges on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean are explained by a new theory developed by University of California, Davis, geologist Garrett Ito. The V-shaped ridges, which are hundreds of miles long, lie across the Reykjanes ridge, a line running south from Iceland where the continental plates of America and Europe are slowly drifting apart.

Giant V-shaped ridges on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean are explained by a new theory developed by University of California, Davis, geologist Garrett Ito.

The V-shaped ridges, which are hundreds of miles long, lie across the Reykjanes ridge, a line running south from Iceland where the continental plates of America and Europe are slowly drifting apart. Geologists know that Iceland is a tectonic "hot spot" where molten rock rises toward the surface, but the origin of the V-shaped ridges had puzzled geologists since their discovery 30 years ago, Ito said.

Ito used a computer model to show that a pulsing plume of molten rock, like a slow motion lava lamp beneath Iceland, could account for the phenomenon. Deep in the earth, the rock contains water which makes it more fluid. As it rises to the surface, the rock begins to melt, forcing out the water and making it stiff, Ito said. This sets an upper boundary for the partially molten rock, forcing it to flow sideways.

"It's a bit like pouring batter onto a hot griddle. As it hits the griddle it sets, and has to run sideways," said UC Davis geologist Charles Lesher, who is not an author on the paper.

The blobs of partially molten rock then flow along the mid-Atlantic ridge, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) below the surface. The molten rock slowly percolates upwards and eventually reaches the surface, where it "freezes" into solid crust. As the ridge pulls apart, it draws out the ends of the "V."

"This provides an explanation for the V-shaped ridges that links the surface features to the Iceland hotspot," said Lesher.

The study was published in the June 7 issue of Nature.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California, Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California, Davis. "Natural "Lava Lamp" Draws Sea Floor Patterns." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010619072105.htm>.
University Of California, Davis. (2001, June 22). Natural "Lava Lamp" Draws Sea Floor Patterns. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010619072105.htm
University Of California, Davis. "Natural "Lava Lamp" Draws Sea Floor Patterns." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010619072105.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: 12 More Bodies Found on Japan Volcano

Raw: 12 More Bodies Found on Japan Volcano

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A dozen more bodies were found Wednesday as Japanese rescuers resumed efforts to find survivors and retrieve bodies of those trapped by Mount Ontake's eruption. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Trapped Scientist Rescued from Cave in Peru

Raw: Trapped Scientist Rescued from Cave in Peru

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A Spanish scientist, who spent 12 days trapped about 1300 feet underground in a cave in Peru's remote Amazon region, was rescued on Tuesday. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media, Industry Groups React To Calif. Plastic Bag Ban

Media, Industry Groups React To Calif. Plastic Bag Ban

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — California is the first state in the country to ban single-use plastic bags in grocery, liquor and convenience stores. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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