How it Moves - HowitMoves:Rheology

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How it Moves: Rheology Earlier, I warned you not to fall into the very common trap of assuming that the plates  are floating on the molten core of the Earth. In fact, the convective motions are all  carried out in a special part of the upper mantle called the  aesthenosphere,  in material  that would look like solid rock, if only you could extract a piece of it from deep under the  surface. Indeed, this material is rigid and brittle enough that if you were to strike it with a  huge hammer, or spark an earthquake, it would do the expected things: vibrate in a way  that propagates the shock of the earthquake, and perhaps crack and fracture like  ordinary rock. But under the continuous, unrelenting and quite enormous pressure of  the overlying rocks (the top part of the mantle and the crust), the material in the  aesthenosphere flows very slowly, as shown in an earlier figure (above). Remember, of 
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How it Moves - HowitMoves:Rheology

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