A secret passage at a depth of 100 kilometers below the earth was discovered by mapping an earthquake in Central America, near Panama. The mystery was discovered when scientists tried to solve why there are so few active volcanoes in Panama, even though it is located in the Central American volcanic port, where the Coconut tectonic plate is underlined under the North American, Caribbean and Panamanian tectonic plate.
Scientists have studied the geochemistry of the region, collecting volcanic rocks, as well as samples of gas and liquids from hot springs. Thus, they discovered that rocks from the Earth’s core envelope from the vicinity of the Galapagos Islands can be found near Panama, although they should not be there.
The rocks from the Earth’s core mantle “covered” 1,600 kilometers
Since there was no clear scientific answer as to how the rocks “crossed” more than 1,600 kilometers from the Galapagos Islands to Panama, scientists focused on the seismic image of the core mantle, mapping with the help of earthquake waves what is below the Earth’s surface.
Computer-assisted calculations suggested that there was a hitherto undiscovered passage in the Coconut Tectonic Plate, at a depth of about 100 kilometers. That passage could be the explanation for how the rocks crossed the 1,600-kilometer route and why there are no volcanoes in Panama.
David Beckert of the Woods Institute of Oceanography in Massachusetts, one of the authors of the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, says that deep below Panama, there is a “window” through a tectonic plate that allows material from the Earth’s core.
It can be the result of a natural, already existing crack in the Coconut tectonic plate, or it can be the result of underlining that tectonic plate under others. Thus, that hidden opening, which occasionally moves towards the center of the Earth by geophysical processes, and during that geological subduction enables the passage of rocks.
Panama is in the middle of a volcanic belt, and there are no volcanoes
By the way, geological subductions in that region of the Earth can cause devastating earthquakes, such as the one in 2017 in the Mexican province of Chiapas. In that earthquake, with a magnitude of 8.4 on the Richter scale, 98 people lost their lives, while more than 300 were injured, and it caused a tsunami 1.75 meters high.
Beckert says that the hidden passage is not only an explanation of how the material from the Earth’s core mantle travels great distances, but also why there are no volcanoes in Panama. According to scientists, water trapped in the crust of tectonic plates during subduction encourages the formation of volcanoes because it lowers the melting point of rocks, which leads to the formation of magma.
The passage under Panama “cuts” the crust of a tectonic plate rich in water, which means that it is harder for molten magma to flow there. This scientist explains that anomalies in the chemistry of the Earth’s core envelope exist all over the world, so similar research will be conducted elsewhere, and among the first points where this will be done is Chile.