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Mantle Convection for Geologists


  • 101 b/w illus. 5 tables
  • Page extent: 240 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.62 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 551.1/16
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: QE511.4 .D376 2011
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Plate tectonics
    • Plumes (Fluid dynamics)
    • Earth (Planet)--Mantle
    • Heat--Convection

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521198004)

Mantle convection is the fundamental agent driving many of the geological features observed at the Earth's surface, including plate tectonics and plume volcanism. Yet many Earth scientists have an incomplete understanding of the process. This book describes the physics and fluid dynamics of mantle convection, explaining what it is, how it works, and how to quantify it in simple terms. It assumes no specialist background: mechanisms are explained simply and the required basic physics is fully reviewed and explained with minimal mathematics. The distinctive forms that convection takes in the Earth's mantle are described within the context of tectonic plates and mantle plumes, and implications are explored for geochemistry and tectonic evolution. Common misconceptions and controversies are addressed - providing a straightforward but rigorous explanation of this key process for students and researchers across a variety of geoscience disciplines.

• Uses minimal maths and explains physics in simple terms, making the subject accessible to Earth scientists with diverse background training • Mechanisms are clearly explained, allowing readers to gain an intuitive understanding of how mantle convection relates to plate tectonics, and why mantle plumes develop • Written by a prominent author with a cutting-edge view of this fundamental aspect of the Earth's geological processes


1. Introduction; 2. Context; 3. Why moving plates?; 4. Solid, yielding mantle; 5. Convection; 6. The plate mode of convection; 7. The plume mode of convection; 8. Perspective; 9. Evolution and tectonics; 10. Mantle chemical evolution; 11. Assimilating mantle convection into geology; Appendix A. Exponential growth and decay; Appendix B. Thermal evolution details; Appendix C. Chemical evolution details; References; Index.


'… this is a highly recommendable textbook for non-specialists, and also is a good complement to earlier standard and more mathematics-oriented textbooks for students of geodynamics.' Masaki Ogawa, American Mineralogist

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