Convection in the Earth’s Mantle



Solid state convection is considered as the main heat transport mechanism in the earth’s mantle because of significant temperature difference between the base of lithosphere and core-mantle boundary and the large thickness of the mantle layer. Convective circulations in the mantle, induced by thermal heating are modeled by using fluid dynamical modelling approach. Initially some analytical models were developed to understand the process of convection in the mantle. However the complexity of the structure dependence of rock properties on pressure and temperature and grain-size effects, distribution of plate boundaries. presence of heterogeneous boundary layers, etc. have led to the development of numerical techniques to understand the dynamics of the mantle, plume-lithosphere interaction, flood basalt volcanism, ridge and subduction processes and other related processes. Ever-increasing computing power has helped in the development of more realistic models of the mantle dynamics. A brief overview of mathema tical formulation and some of the applications of mantle convection modelling is presented in this chapter.


Nusselt Number Rayleigh Number Mantle Plume Thermal Convection Mantle Convection 
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© Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Geophysical Research Institute (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research)HyderabadIndia

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