Scientists have looked at an ultra-low velocity zone for the first time. These mysterious rock pockets sit close to the Earth’s core, nearly 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) under the surface.
They’re tough to study at that depth, but we know they’re there because of the way seismic waves stream through Earth. These zones obtain their name from how seismic waves slow down as they enact through them.
Pictures of these zones have been granular and tough to analyze until this point. Still, the one now publicized in a current study discloses a zone beneath Hawaii in much more detail, providing fresh insight into the internal workings of our planet and its history.
“Of all Earth’s deep interior features, these are the most fascinating and complex,” asserts geophysicist Zhi Li from the University of Cambridge in the UK.
“We’ve now got the first solid evidence to show their internal structure it’s a real milestone in deep Earth seismology.”
It’s reckoned that extra iron in these unique zones might be establishing the additional density that comes up on seismic wave structures. Finding out one way or the other might explain to us more about how Earth developed and how its core performs today.