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 August 28, 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 August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

AP (Aug. 27, 2014) Thundering surf spawned by Hurricane Marie pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town. High surf warnings were posted for Los Angeles County south through Orange County. (Aug. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

AP (Aug. 26, 2014) Researchers at UC Berkeley are testing a prototype of an earthquake early warning system that California is pursuing years after places like Mexico and Japan already have them up and running. (August 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brazil Tries Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Fight Dengue

Brazil Tries Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Fight Dengue

AFP (Aug. 25, 2014) A factory in the industrial state of Sao Paulo produces genetically modified mosquitoes to fight dengue, a deadly tropical disease more prevalent in Brazil than anywhere else in the world. Duration: 00:57 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