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science

Geochemists solve mystery of Earth's vanishing crust

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Much of what happens below that layer remains a mystery, including the fate of sections of crust that vanish back into the Earth. Now, a team of geochemists based at the Florida State University-headquartered National High Magnetic Field Laboratory has uncovered key clues about where those rocks have been hiding.

The researchers provided fresh evidence that, while most of the Earth's crust is relatively new, a small percentage is actually made up of ancient chunks that had sunk long ago back into the mantle then later resurfaced. They also found, based on the amount of that "recycled" crust, that the planet has been churning out crust consistently since its formation 4.5 billion years ago -- a picture that contradicts prevailing theories.

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The Earth's oceanic crust is formed when mantle rock melts near fissures between tectonic plates along undersea volcanic ridges, yielding basalt. As new crust is made, it pushes the older crust away from the ridge toward continents, like a super slow conveyer belt. Eventually, it reaches areas called subduction zones, where it is forced under another plate and swallowed back into the Earth.

To shed more light on the mystery of the disappearing crust, the team chemically analyzed 500 samples of basalt collected from 30 regions of ocean ridges.

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Quartz

I go here to escape school. I-

Inside, we are really made the same. 🕊
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JRCF29
14 minutes ago, FfFfFfFF said:

has uncovered key clues about where those rocks have been hiding.

This is cool and all and I’m glad we learned a bit more about what the **** Ms. Earth is up to, but they should find out where Gaga’s hiding next :stalkga:

Don't Call Me Gaga
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TimisaMonster
1 hour ago, JRCF29 said:

This is cool and all and I’m glad we learned a bit more about what the **** Ms. Earth is up to, but they should find out where Gaga’s hiding next :stalkga:

Check your local Pizza Hut... :yennefer:

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