This animation shows a cross section of Earth; it illustrates a
mathematical model of how convection might occur in the mantle. Diagrams of convection cells in
the mantle are often highly simplified,
but researchers are finding that the real
world is much more complex.
In the model, red represents heated materials
that are less dense than their surroundings.
Dark blue represents cooler materials that
are denser than their surroundings. Examine
the motion of mantle material near the outer
edge of the model. Consider how the motions
you observe might affect Earth's tectonic