What is a Mantle Plume?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

A Mantle Plume is a hot rock that moves as a narrow column towards the Earth’s crust, where the magma is much hotter than the magma that surrounds the Earth’s surface. Mantle plumes of this type can be found beneath the continental or oceanic crust or along the plate boundaries.

Mantle Plume Definition

Mantle plumes also, in a way, contribute to the volcanic activity on the Earth’s surface. These mantle plumes are considered extremely strong, so much so that they can even cause rifting and formation of plates within the Earth’s crust.

  • When a plume head collides with the lithosphere’s base, it is predicted to flatten down and undergo extensive decompression melting, resulting in huge amounts of basalt magma.
  • It may then erupt onto the surface.
  • Flood basalts have been related to these eruptions.
  • The eruption of continental flood basalts is frequently connected with continental rifting and breakdown, giving rise to the theory that mantle plumes contribute to continental rifting and ocean basin formation. However, this is still a hypothesis.

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