They discover a mighty “river of stones” under the Caribbean Sea

Ursula Pamela Garcia Juan José Felina 4 minutes
Geologists have discovered that tectonic plates move through a warmer, softer substrate called the hydrosphere. Credit: UH.

Geologists have long believed that tectonic plates move because they are pulled down due to their weight, and that a warmer, softer substrate is called The acinosphere, As a negative lubricant.

But recently A team of geologists from the University of Houston (UH) discovered that the layer actually flows in forceIt moves fast enough to train the movements of the board.

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Researchers from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at UH, Subtle changes observed in gravitational pull It has been detected by satellite in the Caribbean and on tomographic images of its hydrosphere. There they collided with a river of hot rocks rising into the Pacific Ocean., By a footbridge under Central America, And it reaches the middle of the Caribbean Sea.

It is an underground “river of rocks” It started to sink Eight million years ago, When the gate to Central America was opened and the covered seabed was lifted several hundred meters and miles to the northeast, where the Lesser Antilles are located.

Great discoveries in geology

Without the additional support generated by this flow into the Moorish atmosphere, parts of Central America would remain below sea level.. Study co-author Lorenzo Cole, associate professor of geophysics, geodynamics and mantle structure in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, said the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans would be linked without the need from the Panama Canal.

Discoveries This has implications for understanding the shape of the Earth’s surface.By the emergence and disappearance of shallow seas, low bridges and forces that move tectonic plates and cause earthquakes.

River rocks
The image of the sinuous surface of the Caribbean land shows its tilt due to the mantle flowing eastward under the Caribbean Sea pushing the western Caribbean Sea.

Another big finding, according to the researchers, is that The morphosphere moves a little over 15 cm per year, which is three times faster than the average plate. You can move independently of the overlapping panels and pull them in a different direction.

“This challenges the top-down idea that subduction is always the engine,” said Johnny Wu, study co-author and assistant professor of skeletal geology, tectonics and mantle structure. “Plates that move like an air hockey puck and are lubricated at the bottom. Instead, what we have found is that the air hockey table imposes its own currents on the moving disc, creating an upward movement that is not well recognized, and is defined here, ”a Wu added.




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