Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mapping the Moho with GOCE

Date:
March 9, 2012
Source:
European Space Agency (ESA)
Summary:
The first global high-resolution map of the boundary between Earth’s crust and mantle – the Moho – has been produced based on data from ESA’s GOCE gravity satellite. Understanding the Moho will offer new clues into the dynamics of Earth’s interior. Earth’s crust is the outermost solid shell of our planet. Even though it makes up less than 1% of the volume of the planet, the crust is exceptionally important not just because we live on it, but because is the place where all our geological resources like natural gas, oil and minerals come from.

This map shows the global Mohorovičić discontinuity – known as Moho – based on data from the GOCE satellite. Moho is the boundary between the crust and the mantle, ranging from about 70 km in depth in mountainous areas, like the Himalayas, to 10 km beneath the ocean floor.
Credit: GEMMA project

The first global high-resolution map of the boundary between Earth's crust and mantle -- the Moho -- has been produced based on data from ESA's GOCE gravity satellite. Understanding the Moho will offer new clues into the dynamics of Earth's interior.

Earth's crust is the outermost solid shell of our planet. Even though it makes up less than 1% of the volume of the planet, the crust is exceptionally important not just because we live on it, but because is the place where all our geological resources like natural gas, oil and minerals come from.

The crust and upper mantle is also the place where most geological processes of great importance occur, such as earthquakes, volcanism and orogeny.

Until just a century ago, we didn't know Earth has a crust. In 1909, Croatian seismologist Andrija Mohorovičić found that at about 50 km underground there is a sudden change in seismic speed.

Ever since, that boundary between Earth's crust and underlying mantle has been known as the Mohorovičić discontinuity, or Moho.

Even today, almost all we know about Earth's deep layers comes from two methods: seismic and gravimetric.

Seismic methods are based on observing changes in the propagation velocity of seismic waves between the crust and mantle.

Gravimetry looks at the gravitational effect due to the density difference caused by the changing composition of crust and mantle.

But the Moho models based on seismic or gravity data are usually limited by poor data coverage or data being only available along single profiles.

The GOCE Exploitation for Moho Modelling and Applications project -- or GEMMA -- has now generated the first global high-resolution map of the boundary between Earth's crust and mantle based on data from the GOCE satellite.

GOCE measures the gravity field and models the geoid with unprecedented accuracy to advance our knowledge of ocean circulation, which plays a crucial role in energy exchanges around the globe, sea-level change and Earth interior processes.

GEMMA's Moho map is based on the inversion of homogenous well-distributed gravimetric data.

For the first time, it is possible to estimate the Moho depth worldwide with unprecedented resolution, as well as in areas where ground data are not available. This will offer new clues for understanding the dynamics of Earth's interior, unmasking the gravitational signal produced by unknown and irregular subsurface density distribution.

GEMMA is being carried out by Italian scientist Daniele Sampietro, and is funded by the Politecnico di Milano and ESA's Support To Science Element under the Changing Earth Science Network initiative.

This initiative supports young scientists at post-doctoral level in ESA Member States to advance our knowledge in Earth system science by exploiting the observational capacity of ESA missions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency (ESA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency (ESA). "Mapping the Moho with GOCE." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120309103810.htm>.
European Space Agency (ESA). (2012, March 9). Mapping the Moho with GOCE. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120309103810.htm
European Space Agency (ESA). "Mapping the Moho with GOCE." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120309103810.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) — Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) — Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. 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:
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