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May 6 2013

Study sheds light on Earth's early mantle


An international team of researchers, led by scientists at Boston University's Department of Earth and Environment, has found evidence that material contained in young oceanic lava flows originated at the Earth's surface in the Archean (>2.45 billions years ago). The new finding helps constrain the timing of the initiation of plate tectonics, the origin of some of the chemical heterogeneity in the Earth's mantle, and may shed light on how the chaotically convecting mantle could preserve such material for so long.

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