A Glimpse of Earth’s Interior

Photo by Riten Dharia.

Lava spurts from the Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland in this award-winning photo by Riten Dharia. It’s always bizarre to see molten rock flowing in fountains and rivers because it’s so unlike our daily experiences. Some deeply buried areas of the Earth, including the outer part of the core, are often described as liquid rock, which brings to mind lava. But that’s not, in fact, what those regions are like. If you were to visit Earth’s outer core in some super-submersible, you would not find a sea of lava. Instead, you would find yourself surrounded by what seemed to be solid rock. That’s not to say that the outer core is solid — just that it flows on geological timescales that are far longer than any human’s lifetime! (Image credit: R. Dharia; via Gizmodo)

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