Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Convection in the Earth's Mantle

Convection occurs when there is an upwelling in the earth's mantle caused by heat. This upwelling then causes parts of the earth's mantle to cool as it rises to the top, as it cools the mantle then pushes the oceanic plates towards the coastline. At this point subducion occurs. From this process new ocean floor is created daily at these oceanic ridges, due to the continually moving mantle.

Today in our science class we preformed a lab experiment to help in our understanding of how convection occurs in the earth's mantle, and how this causes movement of the earth's tectonic plates.

Our students reproduced this event by using blocks of wood, a tea candle, flashlight, and a bottle of rheoscopic fluid. The students used the blocks to rest the bottle of fluid and lit the candle under the bottle. The heat from the candle caused a convection cells to form inside of the bottle. We were able to see these cells due to the rheoscopic material that is inside of the bottle.

If you look closely you can see the formation of the convection cells starting to form (kinda) on both sides of the bottle.

Mr. McClung


cole and suzanne said...

you should of made a video. it would have been cool!

jkmcclung said...

I know it, I was worried that it would not turn out since we were in the dark, should have tried anyways.