Earth's Core, Mantle, Crust, Continents, Ocean Basins, Plumes & Plate Tectonics

The solid Earth is made up from multiple layers - each layer exhibiting its own set of characteristics and physical processes: the Inner Core, Outer Core, Mantle, Crust, Continents & Ocean Basins. Our understanding of the interaction between these layers is however, embryonic.

Fundamental processes:

Radioactivity - Tidal Heating - Visco-elasticity -  Rheology  -  Geoflow  -  Earthquakes - Volcanic Eruptions 

Earth's formation & evolution:



The Unsolid Earth

The Layered Earth

Ascent or no ascent?

The deep roots of catastrophe

Delving inside Earth from space

Taking Earth's inner temperature

Targeting mysteries of deep Earth

Mapping the Moho with GOCE

Journey to the center of the Earth

High tech opens up Earth's secrets

A journey to the center of the Earth?

Wobbles in Earth's rotation explained

Gravity map reveals Earth's extremes 

Explorers find passage to Earth's Dark Age

Interdisciplinary look inside the Earth’s interior

Going underground: why geophysics matter

The concept of a 3D Earth: a living dynamic planet

The cause of the Earth's largest environmental catastrophe

Experiments cast doubt on how the Earth was formed

Virtual time machine of Earth's geology now in the cloud

Promising new technique for probing Earth's deep interior

Crashing waves on shorelne used to study Earth's interior

The high-pressure dimension in Earth and planetary science

Neutrinos from Earth’s interior measure the planet’s radiogenic heating

Building blocks of early Earth survived the collision that created the Moon

Could natural nuclear reactors have boosted life on this and other planets?

Deep sea sediments reveal solar system chaos: an advance in dating geologic archives

The GPlates portal: cloud-based interactive 3D visualization of global geophysical and geological data

Scientists have used groundbreaking technology to figure out how the earth looked one billion years ago


A new kind of metal in the deep Earth

Magnesium oxide: from Earth to super-Earth

Earth's most abundant material finally has a name

'Super-deep' diamonds may hold new information about Earth's interior

Discovery of new iron oxides points to large oxygen source inside the Earth

Iron isotope evidence for very rapid accretion and differentiation  of the proto-Earth

Inner Core:

Inner Core

Oxygen to the core

Video of inner inner core

Deep Earth heat surprise

Earth's enigmatic inner core

Is Earth's inner core lopsided?

Earth’s core deprived of oxygen

Earth's core affects length of day

A clue to the Earth's ancient core

Earth's core far hotter than thought

Earth's inner core is young at heart

New idea tackles Earth core puzzle    

Heart of Earth's inner core revealed

Earht's inner core is growing lopsidedly

Ironing out the details of the Earth's core

Iron melt network helped grow Earth's core        

Earth's inner core is doing something weird

Research journey to the center of the Earth

Research lends new view of the Earth's core

New insight into the temperature of deep Earth

Iron in the Earth's core weakens before melting

Earth's inner core is growing more on one side than the other

Geochemical detectives use lab mimicry to look back in times   

Study indicates Earth's inner core was formed 1-1.5bn years ago

Trickle-down is the solution to the planetary core formation problem

First global antineutrino emission map highlights Earth's core energy

New insights solve 300-year-old problem: the dynamics of Earth's core

Constraints on Earth's inner core composition inferred from measurements of sound velocity        

Recent changes of the Earth's core derived from satellite observations of magnetic and gravity fields 

Outer Core:

Outer Core       

Leaky at the core 

Patchy weather in the centre of the Earth

Circulation collapses in turbulent liquid metals

Earth's core has been leaking for billions of years

A journey to Earth's center: courtesy of an iron crystal

Scientists detect unexpected widesprerad structures near Earth's core


Mantle and Upper Mantle

Congestion in the Earth's mantle

Lower mantle chemistry breakthrough

Stretchy slabs found in the deep Earth

More detailed picture of Earth's mantle

Lava rock sheds light on Earth formation

Ancient Earth crust stored in deep mantle

Developing a picture of the Earth's mantle

Volcanic rocks hold clues to Earth's interior

A significantly hotter mantle beneath Iceland

The $1 billion mission to reach the Earth's mantle

Mysterious deep-Earth seismic signature explained

Mineral measurements could explain mantle seismology

New understanding of Earth's mantle beneath the Pacific Ocean

Geoscientists explain puzzling pockets of rock deep in Earth's mantle

Mathematician helps deepen understanding of Earth's mysterious mantle

Drilling into Earth's mantle, a holy grail of geology, set to begin once again

A stiff new layer in Earth's mantle? Earth's interior hotter than previously believed

Mantle Convection, Plumes & Hotspots:


Mantle Convection

Mantle plumes crack continents

Magma in mantle has deep impact

Exploring the last white spot on Earth

Stable movement centers in Earth's mantle

Mantle plumes and convection visualizations

X-rays illuminate the origin of volcanic hotspots

New study upends a theory of how Earth's mantle flows

On the relative motions of long-lived Pacific mantle plumes

Large, rare diamonds reveal inner working of Earth's mantle

Structural change in molten basalt at deep mantle conditions

Location of upwelling in Earth's mantle discovered to be stable

New model of Earth's interior reveals clues to hotspot volcanoes

Newly discovered flux in the Earth may solve missing-mantle mystery

Petrological geodynamics of mantle melting III. Alp[haMELTS + multiphase flow: the effect of water 

Trial by fire: testing the paleolongitude of Pangea of competing reference frames with the African LLSVP

Mantle plumes, junctions, transforms: reinterpretation of Pacific Cretaceous-Tertiary LIPs & Laramide conn  

Crust, Plate Tectonics :


Plate tectonics

Crust and Tectonics

Reading history from Afar

How thick is the Earth's crust

Why do tectonic plates move?

How Earth got its tectonic plates

Plate tectonics thanks to plumes

Tectonic plates' patterns revealed

Earth likely began with a solid shell

The start of plate tectonics on Earth

Continental drift & plate tectonics

How plate tectonics started on Earth

Scientists discover new tectonic plate

What set the Earth's plates in motion?

A voyage to the Earth's crust and back

Plate tectonic movement visualizations

Plate tectonics could be essential for life

When and how did plate tectonics begin?

Age of Earth's lithosphere for Google Earth

Determining the thickness of tectonic plates

Ancient drop of water rewrites Earth's history

Does a planet need life to create continents?

Zircon crystals reveal onset of plate tectonics

Rare view reveals how the Earth's crust forms

New study zeros in on plate tectonics' start date

New model suggests lost continents for early Earth

Great challenges in structural geology and tectonics

Late Cenozoic unification of East and West Antarctica

A thorny debate in plate tectonics may finally be resolved

How cosmic crashes could have kickstarted plate tectonics

Scripps scientists discover 'lubricant' for Earth's tectonic plates

Scientists simulate new mechanism of fluid flow in Earth's crust

Map of the underworld may let us play plate tectonics in reverse

Earth is missing a huge part of its crust. Now we may know why

Scientists pin down when Earth's crust cracked, then came to life

Microbes could influence geological processes as much as volcanoes

A potentially major revision to the fundamental idea of plate tectonics

'Lubricating' sediments were critical in making the cony=tinents move

New database covers geometry of majority of world's subduction zones

Seismic study reveals huge amount of water dragged into Earth's interior

Earth tectonics as seen by GOCE-enhanced satellite gravity gradient imaging

Geophysicists uncover new evidence for an alternative style of plate tectonics

Age of blueschist is not an indicator of the date of emergence of plate tectonics

Earth's interior cycles a contributor to long-term sea-level rise and climate change

Developing plate tectonics theory from oceanic subduction zones to collision orogens 

Peridotite weathering is the missing ingredient of Earth's continental crust composition

Plate tectonics cannot explain dynamics of Earth and crust formation more than 3 billion years ago

Elemental constraints on the amount of recycled crust in the generation of mid-oceanic ridge basalts

Ocean Basins & their formation:

Fluids in the continental crust

Pacific plate shrinking as it cools

A grand tour of the Ocean Basins

World's oldest oceanic crust discovered

How the Earth's Pacific plates collapsed

The hunt for Earth's deep hidden oceans

Circulation of water in deep Earth's interior

Heat of mantle sets height of mid-ocean ridges

Search for MH370 revealed ocean crust waves

Deciphering the Bay of Bengal's tectonic origins 

Are we seeing a new ocean starting to form in Africa?  

Oceanic crust breakthrough: solving a magma mystery

There's as much water in Earth's mantle as in all the oceans

Massive ancient tectonic slab found beneath the Indian Ocean

Continental rifts, new oceans, and passive continental margins

Study hints that ancient Earth made its own water - geologically

Evidence of an extinct ocean basin detected beneath Greenland

Geological insights from Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 search

Scientists detect evidence of 'oceans worth of water' in Earth's mantle

Earth has lost and gained many oceans. Here's where a new one might appear next   

Continental Evolution & Drift:

Constructive collisions

How do continents break up

Links within two supercontinents

Solving an Earth-sized jigsaw puzzle

Big quake was part crustal plate break up


Formation and evolution of the continental crust

Scientists discover how Pangea helped make coal

A new theory on the formation of the oldest continents  

Solving the perplexing mystery of continental evolution

In 250 million years Earth might only have one continent 

Giant meteorites could be responsible for Earth's continents

Evidence falls into place for once and future supercontinents

When continents collide - a  new twist to a 50 miilion-year-old tale

Research links uplifting continents to crashes in biodiversity on Earth  

Computer simulation sheds light on how Earth's continents were born

Geophysicists find the crusty culprits behind sudden tectonic plate movements

Alfred Wegener presented his revolutionary theory of continental drift 100 years ago

The 3D geophysical investigation of Middle Cretaceous to Paleocene - Northern Canada and Alaska 

North America:

Under California: an ancient tectonic plate

Mass of warm rock rising beneath New England 

New insights into North America's midcontinent rift

Novel technique finds new features under United States    

Recent connection between North and South America reaffirmed

Central America:

Why do the Caribbean Islands arc?

An introduction to Caribbean tectonics

Overview of the tectonics and geodynamics of Costa Rica

South America:


Australia-Antarctica-India breakup

Evidence of ancient 'lost continent' found in Indian Ocean

India joined with Asia 10 million years later than previously sought


Zealandia: Earth's hidden continent

Zealandia: scientists reveal secrets from first expedition


What sculpted Africa's margin?


Britain formed from three colliding continental land masses

Fragment of continental crust found under south east Iceland

Utrecht promotes interdisciplinary research into Earth's crust in Europe 

Andalusian scientists reconstruct what the Gibralter Arc was like 9 million years ago

Lost continent revealed in new reconstruction of the Mediterranean's geologic history