mantle

Flawed, Precious Stones Carry Clues From Deep in the Mantle

Earth’s oxygen-rich atmosphere creates extremely oxidizing conditions at the surface. Anyone who has seen rusty metal has observed oxidation in action: the oxygen steals electrons from the metal, creating crusty, red, iron oxide. Within Earth’s core, however, low levels of oxygen create much more reduced conditions. Intuitively, many researchers have supposed that Earth’s layers become less oxidized with depth, but few samples have emerged from the deep Earth to support or disprove this idea.

Showing 1-10 of 117 results
Erosion Greased the Wheels of Plate Tectonics 10 June 2019 Feature

Since the 1960s, scientists have accepted that mantle convection – the lava lamp-like churning of…

Diamonds Reveal how Continents are Stabilized, Key to Earth’s Habitability 25 April 2019 Feature

The longevity of Earth’s continents in the face of destructive tectonic activity is an essential…

Eclogitic Diamonds Formed From Oceanic Crust, Study Shows
Eclogitic Diamonds Formed From Oceanic Crust, Study Shows 25 April 2019 Feature

Diamonds are found in two types of rocks from Earth’s mantle: peridotite and eclogite. Peridotite…

In Earth’s Magma Ocean, Carbon Chemistry Got Complicated
In Earth’s Magma Ocean, Carbon Chemistry Got Complicated 15 February 2019 Feature

In the first 100 million years after the formation of the solar system, another planetary body…

Cartoon of rocky growth of planets
Collision with a Mars-Sized Body Delivered Carbon to Early Earth 28 January 2019 Feature

About 4.6 billion years ago, meteorites and other ancient building blocks began to coalesce to form…

A Step Toward Modeling Carbonatites in the Subsurface 25 January 2019 Feature

When generations of phytoplankton with calcium carbonate shells die, their shells accumulate on the…

Atlantis Massif Drillsites
Subsurface Life in the Atlantis Massif: Just Add Water? 17 October 2018 Feature

When mantle rocks come into contact with seawater, the resulting reaction, called serpentinization…

Did a Burst of Halogens Kick Off the End-Permian Extinction? 27 August 2018 Feature

About 250 million years ago, one of the largest known volcanic events in history flooded the area…

Earth rasterized
Carbon Dioxide Stays Solid Under Deep Mantle Conditions 8 August 2018 Feature

On the surface, carbon dioxide moves in complex cycles between living organisms and the physical…

blue boron-bearing diamond
Origin of Blue Diamonds Discovered 1 August 2018 Feature

Experts judge a diamond’s worth by the four Cs, “color, clarity, cut, and carat weight,” and blue…

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