Research Spotlight: Characterizing channels for transport of melt in mantle


  • Mohi Kumar,

  • Leslie Ofori,

  • Ernie Tretkoff


Rock in the Earth's mantle, for example, beneath mid-ocean ridge spreading centers, melts as it upwells toward the surface. This buoyant melt rises through the mantle to the surface, where it solidifies and becomes part of the Earth's crust. However, the pathways through which mantle melt migrates have not been well understood. It had been suggested that channels through highly porous dunite rock provided pathways for mantle melt, but the depth and other features of these channels have not been known.