Earth’s interior is cooling faster than expected — ScienceDaily

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The evolution of our Earth is the story of its cooling: 4.5 billion years ago, extreme temperatures prevailed on the surface of the young Earth, and it was covered by a deep ocean of magma. Over millions of years, the planet’s surface cooled to form a brittle crust. However, the enormous thermal energy emanating from the Earth’s interior set dynamic processes in motion, such as mantle convection, plate tectonics and volcanism.

Still unanswered, though, are the questions of how fast the Earth cooled and how long it might take for this ongoing cooling to bring the aforementioned heat-driven processes to a halt.

One possible answer may lie in the thermal conductivity of the minerals that form the boundary between the Earth’s core and mantle.

This boundary layer is relevant because it is here that the viscous rock of the Earth’s mantle is in direct contact with the hot iron-nickel melt…

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