How Do We Know about Layers Deep within Earth?
ES0402  A View from Below

Although it makes a fascinating story, it is not possible to journey to the center of Earth. Instead, scientists gather observations at the surface to construct models of Earth's internal structure. They analyze seismic data—information from earthquakes—to infer processes that occur inside the planet.

Peter van Keken, University of Michigan
Three-dimensional mathematical model of mantle convection seen from the side.

This model shows material moving deep within Earth. Materials are marked with different colors so you can follow their motion.

  !   Click the image to see the animation.

2. Describe how the material is flowing.


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