MANTLE CONVECTION

Observe the two lava lamps. Lava lamp A is off. The other lamp, B, is on. Carefully document your observations of each lamp. Note to Students: If you have your own lava lamp at home, conduct your observations with it turned off and label these observations as lava lamp A. Then, turn on your lava lamp and wait a few minutes. Conduct your observations of the lava lamp turned on and label these observations as lava lamp B. Consider the physical characteristics of the “lava” and think about the underlying processes that are occurring in each lamp. Next, respond to the following questions: What is happening with the “lava” in lamp A? Explain your response. What is happening with the “lava” in lamp B? Explain your response. Relate your observations of lava lamp B to mantle convection and plate tectonics. What does the heat source of the lava lamp represent in the earth? What does the lava represent in the earth? If the lava lamp had floating pieces of foam at the top, what would they do? What would these foam pieces represent on the earth?