A recent discovery by scientists at Rutger University has revealed a massive amount of magma underneath the geographic area of New England.
Magma In New England
It’s important to preface these findings by stating that New England residents have no reason to panic or evacuate, because the potential volcanic eruptions are not expected to be anywhere near severe. A team led by geophysicist Vadim Levin from Rutgers University elaborated on the discovery in a recent statement.
“The upwelling we detected is like a hot air balloon, and we infer that something is rising up through the deeper part of our planet under New England.”
The information that led to this discovery was collected using the EarthScope program from the National Science Foundation. EarthScope is responsible for placing a huge amount of seismic measurement devices all across the United States, in hopes that we can better track the activities that lead up to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
“We’re interested in what happens at the interface between tectonic plates – thick, solid parts that cover our planet – and material in the upper mantle beneath the plates…We want to see how North America is gliding over the deeper parts of our planet. It is a very large and relatively stable region, but we found an irregular pattern with rather abrupt changes in it.”
This new information has reaffirmed the fact that there’s much we have yet to learn about the world around us.
“Our study challenges the established notion of how the continents on which we live behave,” Levin said. “It challenges the textbook concepts taught in introductory geology classes.”
As mentioned above, there’s very little reason for New England residents to worry. The magma located in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire will not result in volcanoes for millions of years. With the entirety of human existence thought to only have been around for a few million years, this information has few practical applications for the average Joe.
Levin mentioned in his statement that even if volcanoes were to erupt, the damage would pale in comparison to the damage from an expected explosion from the Yellowstone supervolcano. That eruption is also a long way off, so it’s not something worth worrying about either.
Still, the discoveries of the magma have definitely changed how we view the world underneath the surface. The fact that new findings indicate that magma is floating underneath our feet shows just how little we actually know as we move deeper towards the earth’s core.
While we definitely won’t see any negative effects from this magma during our lifetime, the discovery raises new questions about why this hotbed of volcanic activity actually exists. This new finding is only the start of years of continued research as we challenge our preconceived notions of how geology works.
“It will likely take millions of years for the upwelling to get where it’s going,” said Levin, “The next step is to try to understand how exactly it’s happening.”