The mysterious event may make the Atlantic Ocean grow bigger every year

Oceans are not as much as you might think. Scientists estimate that the Atlantic Ocean is actually becoming wider by several centimeters each year. At the same time, Prashant is shrinking.

This glacial slowing of the oceans is due to the ongoing motion of the Earth’s tectonic plates, as the plates below the Americas are separated from those under Europe and Africa.

The deep, geophysical forces that underlie this epic event are far from fully understood, but researchers may have identified an important contributor to what is happening right now.

In a new study, scientists suggest that mid-ocean ridges – mountain formations that emerge at the edge of the ocean between tectonic plates – may be more implicated in the transfer of material between the upper and lower mantle under the Earth’s crust. Is, as we first realized.

39 seismometer location. (University of Southampton)

A team led by seismologist Matthew Agius of the University of Southampton in the UK explained in a new paper, “Drowning slabs and rising plums are generally accepted as shifting places, while the role of mid-ocean ridges Does not happen. “

“However, with tight barriers Besides Measurements on streaks have proved challenging. “

To fill the gaps in our knowledge, researchers deployed a fleet of 39 seismometers along the bottom of the Atlantic to record seismic movements down the Mid-Atlantic Ridge – the ridge boundary that tectonically shifts the Americas from Europe and Africa Separates.

The seismic readings recorded in the experiment monitored the flow of material in the mantle transition zone, located between the upper mantle and the lower mantle, enabling the team to transfer image content at subterranean depths below 660 kilometers (410 mi) to the surface. is.

Results suggest that uplift of the chemical material is not limited to shallow depths in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, but may emerge in the deepest reaches of the mantle’s transition zone, suggesting material upstream from the lower mantle.

The researchers point out, “The observation continues the material transfer from the lower to the upper mantle – either continuous or punctual – that is associated with the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.”

“Given the length and longevity of the mid-ocean ridge system, this implies that whole-view convection may be more prevalent than previously thought.”

010 Atlantic Widening 2Deploying one of the seismometers. (University of Southampton)

Although it was already known that mid-ocean ridges contribute to the occurrence of seafloor outbreaks, new findings suggest that the overall processes involved are much deeper than the Earth, which has been measured before, and now Also the areas of seafloor may also be marked by overt areas of plate abduction.

“[The work] Mike Kendall, senior researcher and geophysicist at the University of Oxford, says that contradicts long-held beliefs that mid-ocean ridges may play a passive role in plate tectonics.

“It suggests that in places such as the Mid-Atlantic, forces on the ridge play an important role in the separation of newly formed plates.”

The findings are stated in Nature.


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