Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Delaminating the Colorado Plateau

A paper published today in Nature is attracting surprising public attention in addition to a lot of buzz in the science press. The headlines generally say
"Geologists solve mystery of Colorado Plateau."

[right, denser lithosphere (blue) is delaminated from below the Colorado Plateau and replaced by less dense partially molten material (gold) that drives Plateau uplift. Credit: Levander Lab/Rice University]

Ref: A. Levander, B. Schmandt, M. S. Miller, K. Liu, K. E. Karlstrom, R. S. Crow, C.-T. A. Lee, E. D. Humphreys. Continuing Colorado plateau uplift by delamination-style convective lithospheric downwelling. Nature, 472, 461-465 (27 April 2011) DOI: 10.1038/nature1000

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