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Press Release 13-002

Magma in Earth's Mantle Forms Deeper Than Once Thought

Study simulating pressures in mantle beneath the ocean floor shows that rocks can melt at depths up to 250 kilometers

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Lava coming from a volcano eruption

When magma reaches Earth's surface and erupts from a volcano, it becomes lava.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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Illustration showing magma generation seen from a cross-section of Earth's interior

Magma generation seen from a cross-section of Earth's interior beneath oceanic ridges.

Credit: Dasgupta Group/Rice University


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Detailed photo of peridotite, a pale green olive-colored rock

Peridotite is a pale green olive-colored rock derived from Earth's mantle.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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Microscopic sample of rock in a high-pressure lab showing evidence of magma formation.

Microscopic sample of rock in a high-pressure lab; it shows evidence of magma formation.

Credit: Dasgupta Group/Rice University


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Geologist Rajdeep Dasgupta using hydraulic presses to crush rocks at high pressures.

Geologist Rajdeep Dasgupta uses hydraulic presses to crush rocks at high pressures.

Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University


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Scientists Rajdeep Dasgupta, Ananya Mallik and Kyusei Tsuno at work in the lab.

Scientists Rajdeep Dasgupta, Ananya Mallik and Kyusei Tsuno at work in the lab.

Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University


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