Scientists say earthquakes are caused by mysterious blobs inside Earth

The Guardian

The blobs were left behind after a Mars-like object collided with the Earth billions of years ago.
Superunknown The team examined existing theories surrounding these blobs buried in our planet’s mantle, which are made of different materials than their surroundings, and how they first came to be.
The researchers believe that roughly 200 million years following the impact, these blobs kickstarted “strong mantle plumes” that initiated a process called subduction, with slabs of the Earth’s crust sinking below other slabs.
The paper could also help explain the oldest minerals ever discovered on Earth, which scientists believe to have been the result of subduction over four billion years ago.
“The models link the earliest subduction to the [Moon-forming giant impact] with implications for understanding the diverse tectonic regimes of rocky planets,” the researchers wrote in their paper.
And others questioned whether we could ever figure out what was going on over billions of years in the first place.
“So from a philosophical standpoint, it’s almost certainly unknown and unknowable,” he added.
More on tectonics: Scientists Puzzled by Sudden, Super-Loud Rumble Inside Mars

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The blobs were left over from a billions of years ago collision between Earth and an object resembling Mars.

Bulges During the evening.

More and more scientists are beginning to suspect that “mysterious blobs” may be buried deep within Earth’s interior, the result of a violent collision that erupted enough material to allow the Moon to form some 4.5 billion years ago between the Earth and a Mars-sized object known as Theia.

According to the Washington Post, scientists are beginning to believe that these hidden blogs may have also contributed to the formation of plate tectonics, which is a set of geological processes that was essential to the emergence of life on Earth and continues to cause earthquakes and volcanoes today.

Researchers drew a line between the enigmatic blobs left over from the collision and contemporary plate tectonics, which eventually created the circumstances necessary for life to flourish billions of years later, as described in a new paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

According to coauthor and geoscientist Qian Yuan of the California Institute of Technology, “the giant impact is not only the reason for our Moon, if that’s the case, it also set the initial conditions of our Earth,” she told WaPo.

Superunknown.

The group looked at current theories regarding the origins of these blobs, which are composed of materials distinct from those of their surroundings and are buried deep within our planet’s mantle.

These blobs, according to the researchers, set off “strong mantle plumes” that caused slabs of the Earth’s crust to begin subducting—that is, sinking beneath other slabs—about 200 million years after the impact.

Additionally, the paper may contribute to the understanding of the oldest minerals ever found on Earth, which are thought to have formed over four billion years ago as a result of subduction.

Researchers wrote in their paper that “the models link the earliest subduction to the [Moon-forming giant impact] with implications for understanding the diverse tectonic regimes of rocky planets.”.

However, not every scientist is on board. Others questioned whether humankind could ever truly understand what has been happening for billions of years.

Geoscientist Michael Brown of the University of Maryland, who was not involved in the study, told WaPo that “we need to bear in mind there is insufficient evidence for us to ever really know what the tectonic mode was in the Archaean,” referring to the second of four geologic eons that spans Earth’s history and dates from four to 2.5 billion years ago.

Thus it’s most likely unknown and unknowable from a philosophical perspective, he continued. “I believe that point is occasionally missed. ****.

Read more about tectonics in Scientists Perplexed by Abrupt, Extremely Loud Rumble Within Mars.

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