Mantle Plume

A mantle plume is a posited thermal abnormality where hot rock nucleates at the core-mantle boundary and rises through the Earth's mantle becoming a diapir in the Earth's crust. Such plumes were invoked in 1971 to explain volcanic regions that were not thought to be explicable by the then-new theory of plate tectonics. Some of these volcanoes lie far from tectonic plate boundaries, e.g., Hawaii. Others represent unusually large-volume volcanism whether on plate boundaries, e.g., Iceland or basalt floods like the Deccan or Siberian traps. The currently active volcanic centers are known as "hot spots". In particular, the concept that mantle plumes are fixed relative to one another, and anchored at the core-mantle boundary, was thought to provide a natural explanation for the time-progressive chains of older volcanoes seen extending out from some "hot spots".

The hypothesis of mantle plumes is not universally accepted. Many of its predictions have not been confirmed by observation. As a result, it has required progressive hypothesis-elaboration, and many variant types have been proposed such as mini-plumes and pulsing plumes. Another hypothesis for unusual volcanic regions is the "Plate model". This attributes volcanoes to passive leakage of magma from the mantle onto the Earth's surface where extension of the lithosphere permits it. This model attributes essentially all volcanism to plate tectonic processes, with volcanoes far from plate boundaries resulting from intraplate extension.

Read more about Mantle Plume:  Concepts, The Lower Mantle and The Core, Evidence For The Theory, The Plate Hypothesis, The Impact Hypothesis

Other articles related to "mantle, mantle plume, plume":

Cameroon Line - Geology - Theories
... Since the lithosphere mantle below Africa must be different in chemical and isotopic composition from the younger lithosphere below the Atlantic, one explanation is that the source is in the ... to some geologists, there is evidence that a mantle plume has existed in the region for about 140 million years, first remaining in roughly the same position while the African plate rotated above it, and then ... The abnormal heat rising in a mantle plume would lead to melting of the upper mantle, which raises, thins and weakens the crust and facilitates rifting ...
Bowie Seamount - Geology - Origins
... chain may have formed above a center of upwelling magma called a mantle plume ... seamounts comprising the Kodiak-Bowie Seamount chain would be formed above the mantle plume and carried away from the mantle plume's magmatic source as the Pacific Plate moves in a northwesterly direction ... of a depleted source in the Earth's mantle and basalts which had distinctly high lead isotopic ratios ...
Volcanology Of Canada - Eastern Canada
... hotspot track west of the Monteregian Hills might be due either to failure of the New England mantle plume to pass through massive strong rock of the Canadian Shield, the lack of noticeable ... The other explanation for their origin is they formed above a mantle plume associated with the Canary or Azores hotspots in the Atlantic Ocean, based on the existence of ...
Geology Of Oregon - Columbia Plateau
... base of the lithosphere (the layer of crust and upper mantle that forms Earth's moving tectonic plates) ... is that a hot spot, an extremely hot plume of deep mantle material, is rising to the surface beneath the Columbia Plateau Province ... not yet well understood) at the boundary between the core and mantle ...

Famous quotes containing the words plume and/or mantle:

    In some of those dense fir and spruce woods there is hardly room for the smoke to go up. The trees are a standing night, and every fir and spruce which you fell is a plume plucked from night’s raven wing.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    At last he rose, and twitch’d his mantle blue,
    Tomorrow to fresh woods and pastures new.
    John Milton (1608–1674)