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Contact: Marie-Helene Thibeault
University of Calgary

Computer Simulation Spanning 2.5 Billion Years of Earth History

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Caption: This computer simulation spanning 2.5 billion years of Earth history is showing density difference of the mantle, compared to an oceanic reference, starting from a cooler initial state. Density is controlled by mantle composition as well as slowly cooling temperature; a keel of low-density material extending to about 260 km depth on the left side (x < 600 km) provides buoyancy that prevents continents from being subducted ('recycled' into the deep Earth). Graph on the top shows a computed elevation model.

Credit: David Eaton, University of Calgary.

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Related news release: Birth of Earth's continents

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