CLAUS LUNAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CLAUS LUNAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mantle convection in the Earth's interior. Cutaway illustration showing the convection (white arrows) in the mantle that drives volcanic activity, crustal spreading, and the movement of the continents. The process also carries heat from the interior of the Earth to the surface. Mantle hotspots (or mantle plumes) welling up from deep inside the Earth can create volcanic regions such as the islands of Hawaii (upper left) in the Pacific Ocean. The Earth's core is at centre (yellow, around 3400 kilometres in radius) with the mantle above it (around 2900 kilometres thick).
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