Researchers have discovered a hidden Passageway beneath central Panama through which wind from the Earth’s ”mantle” is actively “blowing.” Scientists believe that the secret passage beneath Panama holds the clue behind the reason that rocks from Earth’s mantle are found over 1,609 kilometers from where they originated.
The Passageway is located approximately 100 km below the surface of the Earth, and the opening may allow a flow of mantle materials to travel from beneath the Galápagos Islands. The study has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
According to David Bekaert, a postdoctoral scholar in marine chemistry and geochemistry at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, the Cocos tectonic plate is diving down and pushing oceanic crust under the continental crust of North America.Different sources of geological material typically have different compositions to track the contribution from other mantle regions. The subduction of the Cocos plate under North America can cause large earthquakes, including the 2017 Chiapas quake, a magnitude-8.1 that killed dozens.