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USGS CMG InfoBank: Mapping Convection Patterns

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Comment: 20:30 - 21:20 (00:50)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 6. Plate Dynamics
Keywords: "Don L. Anderson", convection, shape, Earth, satellite, "radar technique", mountain, continent, "sea floor"

Our transcription: Current measurements of Earth's surface from space have provided additional evidence that convection is occurring within the planet.
Interestingly enough, convection changes the shape of the Earth.
If we look at the Earth from a satellite and look at it with very detailed radar techniques, we find out that the Earth is not a smooth sphere at all.
Even if we get rid of the mountains and the continents, we find out that what's left over is a very bumpy object.
Now, the upwelling convection currents tend to make bumps and swells in the surface of the Earth, and downwelling cold currents tend to make depressions in the sea floor, for example.
So by looking at the shape of Earth, we're able to map the convection pattern.

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