Publication Abstracts

Stothers 1993

Stothers, R.B., 1993: Hotspots and sunspots: Surface tracers of deep mantle convection in the Earth and Sun. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 116, 1-8, doi:10.1016/0012-821X(93)90041-7.

The pattern of new appearances of hotspots on the Earth is investigated using available age data. The worldwide total of Cenozoic and Mesozoic hotspots, predicted by extrapolation from the observed number of continental flood basalts, is ∼40, in agreement with Crough's counts. There are found to be no true antipodal pairs. In one interpretation of the data, new appearances of hotspots occur first at high latitudes in both hemispheres and then migrate toward the equator; shortly before the migration cycle is finished, the next cycle begins. A relative deficiency of hotspots, hwoever, is observed in very low equatorial and very high polar regions. In addition, hotspots occupy two large hemispherical groups in longitude that slowly drift in the same direction as the axial body rotation. An observed magnetic superchron seems to end when a new hotspot migration cycle in latitude begins; but consecutive superchrons show opposite polarity.

Although the hotspot data are rather sparse, their suggested patterns resemble the well-known patterns of complexes of active regions on the Sun, as exemplified by proxy data, such as sunspots. Both the Earth and the Sun possess large convecting, rotating and magnetized mantles, in which the characteristic surface tracers are believed to reflect the patterns of convective phenomena very deep in the mantle (even though the tracers themselves–hotspots and sunspots–are certainly not analogs of each other). The present study supports existing theoretical ideas that the large-scale patterns of deep mantle convection in the Earth and Sun may fundamentally resemble each other, despite the enormous difference in their molecular viscosities. Magnetic polarity reversal histories also show close similarities in the two bodies, suggesting the operation of basically similar convective dynamos. However, the Sun has displayed no known analog of the Earth's magnetically disturbed intervals.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Stothers, R. B.},
  title={Hotspots and sunspots: Surface tracers of deep mantle convection in the Earth and Sun},
  journal={Earth and Planetary Science Letters},

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RIS Citation

ID  - st01700z
AU  - Stothers, R. B.
PY  - 1993
TI  - Hotspots and sunspots: Surface tracers of deep mantle convection in the Earth and Sun
JA  - Earth Planet. Sci. Lett.
JO  - Earth and Planetary Science Letters
VL  - 116
SP  - 1
EP  - 8
DO  - 10.1016/0012-821X(93)90041-7
ER  -

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