A three-dimensional seismic image of the mantle beneath the Lau Basin in the South Pacific just published in Nature has an intriguing anomaly. The image showed the least magma where the scientists expected to find the most. After considerable debate, they concluded that magma with a high water content was flushed so rapidly that it wasn’t showing up in the images.
If you’re clueless about petrology, paleobiology and plate tectonics, the National Science Foundation and the Earth Science Literacy Initiative (ESLI) have just released a free pamphlet offering a concise primer on what all Americans should know about the Earth sciences. “The Earth Science Literacy framework document of ‘Big Ideas’ and supporting concepts was a community effort representing the current state-of-the-art research in Earth sciences,” said Michael E. Wysession, Ph.D., chair of ESLI and associate professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.