June 24, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Has the cause of the earthquakes been found? Researchers "accused" amorphous masses (video)

Mysterious amorphous masses inside our planet may cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, researchers say.

Scientists are increasingly inclined to believe that a powerful collision between Earth and an ancient protoplanet the size of Mars 4.5 billion years ago may have left mysterious amorphous masses buried deep inside the Earth. The collision was so strong writes Futurism.com, resulting in the ejection of enough material to form the Moon. That is why the protoplanet was called Theia*.

Scientists are beginning to suspect that these buried amorphous masses may have led to the development of plate tectonics, geological processes that were integral to the formation of life on Earth and continue to cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions today.

In a new study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, researchers draw a line between the mysterious amorphous masses left behind by the impact and modern plate tectonics, which ultimately shaped the conditions that allowed life to flourish billions of years later. “The giant impact is not only the cause of our Moon, if that is the case, but also determined the original conditions of our Earth,” study co-author and Caltech geologist Qian Yuan told the Washington Post.

The team examined existing theories regarding these amorphous masses buried in our planet's mantle, composed of different materials compared to their surroundings, and how they first formed.

Researchers believe writes CNN Greece that about 200 million years after the impact, these masses caused powerful mantle faults that triggered a process called subduction, where plates of the Earth's crust fell under other plates. The research will also help explain the origins of the oldest minerals ever discovered on Earth, which scientists believe were created by a dive four billion years ago.

*Theia (ancient Greek Θεία “goddess”) – in ancient Greek mythology, one of the Titanides, the eldest daughter of Uranus and Gaia, sister and wife of the Titan Hyperion, the first lunar goddess, mother of Helios (Sun), Eos (Dawn) and Selene ( Moon).

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