Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Water in Earth's crust and upper mantle may not lubricate plate tectonics as much as previously assumed

Date:
June 12, 2013
Source:
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Summary:
Water in olivin mineral reveals less important role.

Water in Earth's crust and upper mantle may not play such an important role as a lubricant of plate tectonics as previously assumed. This is a result geoscientists present in the current issue of the scientific journal Nature after the examination of water in the mineral olivine.

Related Articles


Laboratory experiments over the past three decades have suggested the presence of water greatly weakens the mechanical strength of the mineral olivine, a key component of the Earth's upper mantle. In a recent study led by the Bayerisches Geoinstitut in Bayreuth, the Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (SIMS) facility at the Potsdam based GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences was used to reassess the importance of water in defining the rigidity of olivine. While earlier studies were based on mineral aggregates, the SIMS method enabled a look at the role of water in single olivine crystals at the near-atomic scale.

Michael Wiedenbeck, who conducted the SIMS experiment at the GFZ: "We discovered that water has a much, much lower effect in terms of the mechanical weakening of olivine as previously believed. The new observations call for a reassessment of the role of water within the Earth's interior." One important consequence is that the earlier concept, indicating that water provides lubrication for continental drift, needs to be carefully reconsidered.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hongzhan Fei, Michael Wiedenbeck, Daisuke Yamazaki, Tomoo Katsura. Small effect of water on upper-mantle rheology based on silicon self-diffusion coefficients. Nature, 2013; 498 (7453): 213 DOI: 10.1038/nature12193

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Water in Earth's crust and upper mantle may not lubricate plate tectonics as much as previously assumed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612133136.htm>.
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. (2013, June 12). Water in Earth's crust and upper mantle may not lubricate plate tectonics as much as previously assumed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612133136.htm
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Water in Earth's crust and upper mantle may not lubricate plate tectonics as much as previously assumed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612133136.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
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