Scientists are working to explain „surfaces” on the ocean floor

„The more we model in detail, the more complexity we're going to find.”

Ocean infrastructure

A massive „surface” of volcanic activity lurks beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean east of the Solomon Islands. Long confusion Scientists.

The 1,000- to 200-mile stretch known as the Melanesian Border Plateau is believed to have formed about 100 million years ago and is still growing today.

But now, as Direct science reportsResearchers may have discovered how the plateau formed during the Cretaceous period, which was marked by pulses of volcanic activity that were poorly understood.

A New paper Published in the magazine Earth and Planetary Science Letters Plateau volcanism is not just an effect of the „four distinct episodes”. It differs markedly from other major structures in that it is the result of an episode.

The effects these episodes can have on the planet can be catastrophic – some associated with extreme climate changes, triggering mass extinction events.

Volcanic pulses

But that is unlikely to be the case for the Melanesian Boundary Plateau, where its igneous rock strata seem to have been built up over a long period of time.

„There are certain features in the Pacific basin [scientists] Have just one sample, and it looks like a very large, massive single event,” said lead author Kevin Konrad, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas geologist. Direct science. „Sometimes when we look at these features in detail, we realize that they are actually built up over many pulses over tens of thousands of years and don't have significant environmental impacts.”

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By studying the chemistry of the rocks surrounding the area over the past decade, Konrad and his colleagues concluded that the plateau first formed about 120 million years ago, undergoing a series of changes in hotspots in the Earth's crust and forming chains. Underwater islands in action.

As we continue to search the world's oceans, many more „mid-ocean superstructures” may be found.

„We modeled more extensively,” Konrad said Direct science„We're going to find something more complicated.”

More on tectonic plates: Scientists have discovered a molten inferno beneath Earth's tectonic plates

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