The Texas Advanced Computing Center recently published an article about how science gateways are making it possible for researchers to explore the existence of mantle plumes. Thus far, the plumes are hypothesized, mushroom-shaped upwellings of hot rock from deep in the Earth. With the help of supercomputer simulations, one team has, for the first time, detailed how plumes decelerate seismic waves and how plumes appear in seismic tomographic images of the Earth's mantle. This work could help guide future experiments on the ocean floor with deep Earth imaging and help solve some mysteries such as the origin of volcanoes in Hawaii.
The team's lead, Ross Maguire, formerly a Ph.D. student who recently graduated from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan, said that "Science Gateways enabled us to test our code and really figure out how computationally demanding our project would be."
Read the full article to learn more about the work being done by Maguire and his team using supercomputing resources provided by XSEDE.