Why rocks flow slowly in Earth’s middle mantle

170605155932 1 900x600 720x340 - Why rocks flow slowly in Earth's middle mantle
As slabs of Earth's crust decend into the mantle, they encounter a zone about 1,100 kilometers down where the mantle rock abruptly becomes stiffer, flowing less easily. Similarly, rising plumes of molten rock encounter the same layer and have difficulty punching through from below. Credit: Dan Shim

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