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African superplume

Gurnis, Michael (2002) African superplume. McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology . pp. 1-3. ISSN 0076-2016.

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The largest discrete structure in the Earth's interior, known as the African superplume, has been found beneath southern Africa within the outer layer known as the mantle. The mantle, comprising solid bur flexible rock about 3000 km (1800 mi) thick, is where the flow associated with plate tectonics occurs. While it is not certain what the African superplume is exactly, it may be a giant upwelling of mantle material. Southern Africa's high topography and unusual land surface are indicative of uplift that may be dynamically supported by this rising superplume. This interpretation is qualitatively consistent with a range of observations showing that Africa is experiencing active intraplate volcanism and rifting, as well as with seismic and other quantitative evidence of anomalous mantle features below the continent. One interpretation of the African superplume is that it represents a long-lived upwelling of hot mantle material. It is likely, however, that at least part of the superplume is denser than the surrounding mantle, which slows its rise upward.

Item Type:Article
Gurnis, Michael0000-0003-1704-597X
Additional Information:© 2002 McGraw-Hill Book Co.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121126-102337893
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35629
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:04 Jan 2013 23:11
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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