Tag Archives: basalts

Eruptions on the moon as recently as 20 mya

Long viewed as a cold dead rock devoid of lava for a billion years, new evidence suggests that the moon could have seen small surface flows as recently as 20 million years ago. Twenty million years might not seem recent, but considering the moon and earth both date around 4.5 billion years old, 20 million years represents 0.4% of its age, or what 5 months is to a 100-year human lifespan. In that sense, the new findings are like discovering the moon was alive 5 months ago! Read more

Easy Science: cross-section of ocean floor geology

The ocean floor forms at seafloor spreading centers, where basaltic magma pushes out through cracks. This magma ultimately comes from the mantle. What would you see if we could punch out a 8 km deep tube from the sea floor? Unfortunately, that isn't yet possible, but thanks to ophiolites, which are parts of the seafloor that have been uplifted to where we can study them, we have an idea of what it would look like. Read more