Move over Jules Verne: Scientists deploy ocean floats to peer into Earth's interior

phys.org | 2/4/2019 | Staff
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The release of more than 50 floating sensors, called Mobile Earthquake Recording in Marine Areas by Independent Divers (MERMAIDs), is increasing the number of seismic stations around the planet. Scientists will use the floating array to clarify the picture of the massive mantel plume in the lower mantel lying below the South Pacific Ocean. This effort will also establish one of the most comprehensive overviews of seismic activity across the globe.

Frederik Simons, at Princeton University, will discuss this international effort during the marine seismoacoustics session of the 178th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.

Source - Mantel - Plumes - Surface - Material

"We are hunting for the deep source of mantel plumes, which bring to the surface hot volcanic material from great depth," said Simons. "What happens inside [the Earth] is all part of the plate-tectonic cycle [that gives] us energy. I see it as both as an opportunity and as a threat."

The floating array offers an advantage over traditional land-based seismic stations. The floating sensors gather data spanning many angles of Earth's interior, producing a massive CAT scanlike reading of seismic activity for the planet.

Simons - Effort - Buoyancy - Viscosity

According to Simons, this effort offers insight into the buoyancy, viscosity,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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