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Water Plays a Vital Role in Formation of Earth’s Crust

The mantle section researched in the study came from ophiolite section in Oman. This image depicts a similar ophiolite section from the Bay of Islands in Newfoundland. Nick Dygert.

May 1 (UPI) — New research suggests water penetrates deep into the crust and upper mantle to cool rock and facilitate crust formation at mid-ocean spreading zones.

Earth’s crust is formed from magma upwelling at mid-ocean spreading zones, but researchers disagree on how the cooling process actually works.

“There’s a debate in the scientific community how oceanic crust forms,” Nick Dygert, a postdoctoral fellow in geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin, said in a news release. “And the different models have very different requirements for cooling regimes.”

 

UPI, May 1, 2017

 

Featuring: Nick Dygert, postdoctoral fellow, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences