A Small Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Beneath Earth’s crust lies 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) of viscous mineral and rock known as the mantle. Famous and fanciful literature apart, no human is very likely to take a look at the mantle or deep inside of Earth. But at Gros Morne Countrywide Park, individuals can step on fragments of the mantle devoid of possessing to dig an inch.

On Oct 3, 2017, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired pure-coloration imagery of Gros Morne Nationwide Park. The UNESCO Entire world Heritage web page handles 1,800 sq. kilometers (690 sq. miles) in the Wonderful Northern Peninsula of western Newfoundland. A in-depth look at of the Tablelands, in the southern portion of the park, is below.

Gros Morne presents some of the world’s finest reveals of the procedure of plate tectonics. The park has a portion of the Extended Selection Mountains, a subrange of the Canadian Appalachians that dates again to around 1.2 billion decades in the past, when current-working day North America collided with one more continent. Those mountains have considering the fact that eroded and still left driving the gneiss and granite peaks of the Long Selection. The park consists of some of the tallest peaks of the Prolonged Array mountains, which includes Significant Level and Gros Morne Mountain (French for “great somber”).

The Tablelands, positioned on the south conclusion of the park, are thought of one particular of its most hanging functions. The flat-topped, rust-coloured land is prosperous with peridotite rock from the higher element of Earth’s mantle. The rock was thrust in the direction of the surface area close to 500 million a long time in the past by a method regarded as subduction. When two plates on Earth’s crust collide, a single is normally pushed back (subducted) towards the mantle. Standing out amid the lush green park, the yellowish-pink Tablelands played a critical position in confirming the concept of plate tectonics.

The Canadian House Agency has also researched the spot to support in the look for for life over and above Earth. Researchers review how microscopic life varieties can endure in the iron-prosperous Tablelands to improved understand how they may possibly survive on the extraordinary atmosphere on Mars.

Gros Morne National Park also options some modern geologic historical past at the Western Brook Pond. The freshwater fjord was carved by advancing glaciers tens of countless numbers of decades back through the most the latest ice age. After the glaciers melted and receded, the land rebounded and minimize off the outlet from the sea. Saltwater was slowly but surely and in a natural way flushed from the 30-kilometer (20-mile) long pond. These days, the fjord is surrounded by steep rock walls up to 600 meters (2,000 ft) higher and has virtually pure fresh new water. The environment is a favorite for photographers.

These days, the park is shielded by the Canada National Parks Act. 1 of the largest all-natural threats to the park is a massive moose inhabitants, which is five to 20 occasions bigger listed here than in other pieces of Canada. Launched into the place about 100 several years in the past, the hungry inhabitants has eaten via substantial parts of the boreal forest and hindered regrowth.

NASA Earth Observatory photos by Lauren Dauphin, employing Landsat knowledge from the U.S. Geological Study. Tale by Kasha Patel.