Which Part Of Earth’S Interior Is Inferred To Have Convection Currents?

As material near the center of the planet warms, convection currents occur in the mantle.

Which Earth layer has convection currents?

There are convection currents within: Plate tectonics inside the geosphere climatic conditions – wind Ocean currents comprise the hydrosphere.

Simply said, a substantial portion of the planet’s interior (the outer core) is formed of a rather impure molten iron alloy. Iron’s high melting point under circumstances of the deep earth is prima facie proof that the deep earth is extremely hot. Gregory Lyzenga teaches physics as an assistant professor at Harvey Mudd College.

He supplied further information on the estimation of the temperature of the earth’s core: How can we determine the temperature? The answer is no, at least not with a high degree of accuracy or precision. The center of the earth is 6,400 kilometers (4,000 miles) below our feet, yet the deepest it has ever been able to drill to directly measure temperature (or other physical qualities) is around 10 kilometers (six miles).

Ironically, the core of the planet is far more inaccessible to direct examination than the surface of Pluto. Not only do we lack the ability to “get to the core,” but it is also unclear how this might ever be accomplished. Therefore, scientists must indirectly deduce the temperature of the earth’s deep center.

  • Observing the velocity at which seismic waves travel through the ground allows geophysicists to assess the density and rigidity of rocks at depths inaccessible to direct study.
  • If it is conceivable to match these qualities with those of known substances at extreme temperatures and pressures, it is theoretically possible to deduce what the environmental conditions must have been like deep under the earth.
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The difficulty with this is that the conditions in the earth’s core are so harsh that it is extremely difficult to do a laboratory experiment that accurately duplicates these circumstances. However, geophysicists are continually conducting and refining these tests so that their results may be extrapolated to the earth’s core, where the pressure is more than three million times that of the atmosphere.

The conclusion of these attempts is that current estimations of the temperature of the earth’s core span a broad range. The “common” estimates range from around 4,000 to over 7,000 kelvins (about 7,000 to 12,000 degrees F). Because the Earth’s core is mostly composed of molten iron, if we knew the melting point of iron under high pressure with more precision, we could more exactly determine its temperature.

But until our high-temperature and high-pressure experiments get more exact, this basic attribute of our planet will remain uncertain: Why is the center of the planet so hot? How do scientists determine the temperature?

What effect do convection currents have on the motion of tectonic plates?

Answer Verified A tectonic plate is a large, irregularly shaped block of rock that is often composed of both continental and oceanic lithosphere. The size of tectonic plates can range from a few hundred to hundreds of kilometers; the Pacific and Antarctic Plates are among the largest.

The tectonic plate hypothesis is derived from the theories of continental drift and seafloor spreading. The theory of continental drift was presented by Alfred Wegner, whereas the hypothesis of seafloor spreading was presented by Harry Hess. Complete response: Earth’s rigid tectonic plates are formed by convection fluxes in the planet’s liquid mantle.

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In regions where convective flows climb to the crust’s top, tectonic plates move apart in a process known as seafloor spreading. Magma rises to the outer crust surface, creates fissures in the ocean depths, and pushes upward to produce mid-ocean ridges.

  • Mid-ocean ridges or spreading centers are the sites of separation between two tectonic plates that are moving apart.
  • Plate tectonics is a logical hypothesis describing the massive movement of seven giant plates and the creation of a larger number of smaller plates of the Earth’s lithosphere from the beginning of structural cycles on Earth around 3.5 billion years ago.

The model extends on the concept of continental float, which originated in the early decades of the 20th century. After seafloor spreading was accepted in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the geoscientific community recognized the plate-structural theory.

Convective Mantle Convective Mantle Convection is the most effective method of heat transfer. It is often observed in a variety of natural settings and is likely how heat is carried from the Earth’s core.

We all have seen convection before. Everytime we cook a pot of water, for example, convection occurs. At the left we see a picture of a pot of water that is heated from below. The water close to the flame (heat source) heats up (red arrows) and rises because it expands and has lower density, then the water releases heat as cools down at the top (blue arrows) and sinks down again. Basically, the moving (circulating) water is a conveyor belt for heat transport from the hot flame to the cooler surface.
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Geologists envision that heat transport between the planet core and surface is accomplished analogous to our hot water convection. The mantle is heated from below (the core), and in areas that are hotter it rises upwards (it is buoyant), whereas in areas that are cooler it sink down. This results in convection cells in the mantle, and produces horizontal motion of mantle material close to the Earth surface. This convection takes place in mantle rock (a mixture of silicate minerals) that at any given time would appear solid to us. Yet, when the forces of buoyancy are applied over millions of years, this seemingly solid material does move after all. It behaves like an extremely viscous fluid and “creeps” along slowly. Also, in the uppermost portions of the mantle, the pressure – temperature conditions are such that a small fraction (a few percent) of the material is probably in the molten state. Thus, we may have crystals mixed with melt (a very hot slurpee), and that kind of material will flow more easily.

Although mantle convection is so slow that we cannot observe it (a few centimeters per year), over geologic timescales (millions of years), this velocity results in significant distances traveled by the flowing material.