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::A glance at today's paper::  

Published 4 December: Anderson, D.L. & S.K. King, Driving the Earth machine?, Science, 346, 1184-1185, 2014.

Anderson, D.L. & J.H. Natland, Mantle updrafts and mechanisms of oceanic volcanism, PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1410229111

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Don L. Anderson

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:: Notice Board ::

Don L. Anderson passed away peacefully at his home in Cambria in the early morning of Tuesday, 2nd December, 2014.

The mantleplumes community extends its sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Condolences page

Forthcoming GSA-AGU Don L. Anderson memorialvolume

AGU Session:

Theory of Earth

S51B: Theory of Earth I Posters

S53F: Theory of Earth II

S54B: Theory of Earth III

Conveners: Don Anderson, Gillian Foulger, Jay Bass & James Natland

Hotspot Swells Revisited

S.D. King & C. Adam

New book:

Large Igneous Provinces

Richard E. Ernst

Magmas Trapped at the Continental Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary

C. Crépisson, G. Morard, H. Bureau, G. Prouteau, Y. Morizet, S. Petigirard & C. Sanloup

A global layer of incipient melt in the asthenosphere? Clues from electrical conductivity

F. Gaillard

Missing Pb, High 3He/4He, Ancient Sulfides and Continent Formation

S. Huang, C.-T. A. Lee & Q.-Z. Yin

Job opening:

Post-Doctoral Research Assistant,
Seismic Tomography,
Durham University

Mineralogy & Petrology solicits papers for:

Special issue in honor of Prof. Rex Pride

Deadline for submission of the papers: 31.10.2014

For further details, email Associate Editor, Prof. L.G. Gwalani

Themed issue in Geophere on:

Anatomy of Rifting: Tectonics and Magmatism in Continental Rifts, Oceanic Spreading Centers, and Transforms

Eds: Francesco Mazzarini, Carolina Pagli, Derek Keir, Eleonora Rivalta & Tyrone O. Rooney

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:: Quote of the week ::

"You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

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:: Comments::

Dear WM, A new gravity map shows thousands more of seamounts, mostly not in linear chains, as summarized in this news article. The great majority of seamounts are scattered across the oceans in independent groups and individual volcanoes. They are not part of linear volcanic chains, and we should note that magmas of most seamount volcanoes appear to be similar and must form the same way. This fact does not support the wildly generalized models in which intraplate volcanoes are created by narrow, deep mantle plumes. Instead, we must develop models that link lithospheric structures to linear volcanic chains where such exist, and also allow most volcanoes to form as individual features, all in a common origin from the upper mantle.–Greg McHone
Dear WM, in the recent paper by Courtillot & Fluteau, the 59th plume type is defined–the "killer plume".–Michele Lustrino

Dear WM, Although the paper "Burov, E. & T Gerya, Asymmetric three-dimensional topography over mantle plumes, Nature 513, 85–89 (04 September 2014) doi:10.1038/nature13703" purports to show that plumes can break up continents if the continent is pre-weakened by plate tectonic forces, what it actually shows is that if one artificially inserts a 200 km sphere below the continent with an excess temperature of 200-600°C then one can break a pre-weakened continent. The 200-km sphere appears out of nowhere, as a deus ex machina. The same method was used by Cordery et al to obtain melting under thick plates.–Don Anderson


Dear WM, It is curious that the same tomographic features have been interpreted in completely different ways. Faster than average seismic wave-speeds in the TZ have been considered to indicate ancient subducted slabs (Piromallo & Morelli, 2003; Handy et al., 2010). The same features, on the other hand, have also been interpreted as a volatile-free mantle plume head trapped in the TZ (Lavecchia & Bell, 2012; Bell et al., 2013).– Michele Lustrino

Dear WM, Interesting article in the most recent Economist publicising a Nobel laureate’s jaundiced views on “luxury journals” (Science, Nature and Cell). Seems like the groundswell of discontent is growing.–Andy Moore