What are the photos of people playing with silicone putty demonstrating? Click on our latest Earthlearningidea to find out - 'Bouncing, bending, breaking; modelling the properties of the mantle'
Understanding how the rocks of the mantle can behave in a brittle way is not difficult – pupils will know that when a rock is hit with a hammer, it will break! Seismic evidence shows that the Earth’s mantle may also transmit earthquake waves, by the elastic deformation of the mantle rocks, showing they must be solid. However, mantle rocks may also “flow” or creep, given enough time and under the conditions of higher temperatures and pressures existing within the Earth. Some textbook writers assume that pupils will not be able to understand that flow can happen in a solid material and therefore state that the mantle is largely liquid, even though seismic evidence contradicts this.
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