Will the Warmer Oceans Warm the Earth Mantel and Cause Volcanoes to Become More Active?

by Daniel Bailey
(Michigan, United States)

Sakurajima, One of the Most Active Volcanoes in the World

Sakurajima, One of the Most Active Volcanoes in the World

At the oceanic seabed (at the bottom of the oceans), the water temperatures are very cold, being only a bit above freezing.

The warming of the oceans is occurring first at the 0-700 meters depths, then 700-2,000 meters, and then a tiny fraction below that.

Heat Transfer Limitations

Heat transfer does not propagate downward through the seabed well (research in the Arctic has discovered that the transfer horizon signature of the Holocene Climate Optimum some 10,000-8,000 years ago is still propagating downward through the seabed).

This is why if you build a fire on a frozen lake, it takes a lot longer than you'd think to burn its way downward through the ice.

This is also why the clathrates buried below the seabed are in little danger of thawing en masse.


Given the thickness of the seabed and the intervening material of the crust between that and the mantle, warmer oceans will play virtually no role in warming the crust and none in warming the mantle.

However, there is in fact research showing that the mass rearrangement of water around the globe due to ice sheet mass losses from Greenland and Antarctica is capable of causing earthquakes, but this has yet to be properly quantified due to the physics not being well characterized.

At this point, it is thought to be pretty low, in terms of orders of magnitude of impact (Richter Scale).

Comments for Will the Warmer Oceans Warm the Earth Mantel and Cause Volcanoes to Become More Active?

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Aug 25, 2015
by: Danzig von Ramstein

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction!

Aug 25, 2015
by: Robert Dupuis

Of course it will. So does everything we do to the planet, especially if we dig and take stuff out. Nature intended it to be inside. Take it out and you cause disturbances that affect all the rest.

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