This drawing shows a "plume" of hot material rising from the interior of a planet.
A "mantle plume" is a bubble of material which rises to the surface from deep inside a planet. The plume is the red portion shown in the drawing to the left.
Deep inside a planet it is very hot! Even so, a portion can sometimes be
heated even more than its surroundings. This portion begins to rise, like a hot air balloon. Eventually the plume stops rising, and usually it stops close to the surface of the planet. Then it may help to create volcanoes and lava flows.
Sometimes it even pushes the surface upward, forming a
rise, as shown in this picture. Rises like this may be found on Venus and Mars.
Hot plumes which rise to the surface help a planet to cool off.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes fun classroom activities
for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!
You might also be interested in:
This drawing shows another way that islands are made. A rising hot bubble of material finds it's way into the crust of the Earth from the deep interior, and begins to erupt. This bubble or "plume" is called...more
Volcanoes form when hot material from below rises and leaks into the crust. The hot material, called magma, rising from lower ground, gathers in a reservoir called the magma chamber. Eventually, but not...more
AU stands for Astronomical Units. It is an easy way to measure large distances in space. It is the distance between the Earth and the Sun, which is about 93 million miles. For really big distances, we...more
The solar wind is formed as the Sun's top layer blows off into space. It carries magnetic fields still attached to the Sun. Streams appear to flow into space as if they are spiraling out from the Sun,...more
For a planet to be affected by a blob of material being ejected by the sun, the planet must be in the path of the blob, as shown in this picture. The Earth and its magnetosphere are shown in the bottom...more
If someone says they saw an aurora, you might picture something like this. There is another type of aurora that we can't see. These aurora are called SAR arcs. The SAR stands for Stable Auroral Red. That...more
This figure shows the effect of the aurora on the atmosphere. When FAC's enter the atmosphere and create the aurora, they heat the atmosphere suddenly and abruptly. This creates an impulse which travels...more