Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate – written on the gates of hell. “Leave the hope of everyone coming in here.” A great way to greet the visitor to hell. But there is also a real underground world, in which, however, fewer dogs and sinners in boilers are not cooked anywhere. Scientists thoroughly worked on a complete map of the dungeon. You can call her a card of hell, in some way.
The earth consists of tectonic plates, huge parts of the crust and mantle scattered somehow and crushing each other, causing processes like volcanism, earthquakes and continental drift. In the process of so-called subduction, one slab slides under the other and part of the Earth is immersed in the mantle. A team of European scientists worked on the Atlas of the Underworld, a map of these submerged slabs, studying the Earth’s mantle and history with the geography of this subsurface world. And so they published a scientific paper in which they described their work in detail in the journal Tectonophysics.
“Now we not only can track plate movements on the surface, but also their immersion on the boundary of the mantle core,” said Duo van Hinsbergen of the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands to Gizmodo. “As for me, it’s cool – we can study physics inside the Earth.”
You probably thought that the plates that dive deeply into the mantle are simply melting, but in fact they get stuck there for a long time and can sink as much as 3000 kilometers down, explains van Hinsbergen. This catalog has become “the first great base for interpreting the modern global structure of the mantle and its physical properties, as well as how this is related to the dynamic evolution of our planet over the last 300 million years,” the article says.
This infernal Atlas was the result of 17 years of work comparing data from various studies with visualization of plates. For visualization, scientists use seismic tomography. It is similar to medical visualization, only in this case sound waves, not light waves at speed, pass through the Earth and create an image.
Scientists use this information to add the history of many plates and their influence on the planet. The Bitterroot plate, for example, is located at a depth of 200 kilometers in the western part of North America. Scientists came to the conclusion that the plate was subducted 46-66 million years ago and led to a surge of volcanic activity in the arc of Challis Absaroka. This volcanic zone of 50 million years old today only affects the residual rocks in the north-west of the United States. Plates younger leave more noticeable features, such as the Andes and the Himalayas.
Johnny Woo from the University of Houston, who did not participate in the study, said that the project was somewhat similar to the creation of the human genome, but for the planet Earth. “Like a map of the genome, this project will provide us with a platform for further discoveries about our planet.”
And this is only the beginning. “If you look at the first atlas of the world in the 16th century, this work was not bad, but it differs significantly from our modern atlas,” says van Hinsbergen. “I think, and this atlas will look different in 10-20 years. We will find plates everywhere. ”
Well, hell is real. The earth is sucked into the hell itself through the mantle as the planet evolves, creating outstanding in the literal sense of the landmarks and complex behavior beneath it.