Convection Currents in Mantle
Date: Winter 2011-2012
What causes convection currents in Earth's mantle?
There are two sources of heat we usually think about.
First of all, there are radioactive atoms in the deep earth and as they decay, they give off heat (just like a nuclear reactor).
The second source is a bit more difficult to understand. The earth formed by a whole pile of particles, dust and what we might call meteorites, collecting together due to gravity. This is called accretion. Every time a new piece of matter hit the new earth it caused heat. Not all the heat escaped because there were too many collisions over too short a time). Now some of that heat is trapped deep underground and fuels the cells.
Hpoe this helps.
R. W. "Mr. A." Avakian
Click here to return to the Environmental and Earth Science Archives
Update: June 2012