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Evidence For The Existence Of The Asthenosphere

Geologists are somewhat limited as to the methods by which they can collect information about Earth's interior. For example, they may be able to study rocky material ejected from volcanoes and lava flows for hints about properties of the interior regions. Generally speaking, however, the single most dependable source of such information is the way in which seismic waves are transmitted through Earth's interior. These waves can be produced naturally as the result of earth movements, or they can be generated synthetically by means of explosions, air guns, or other techniques.

In any case, seismic studies have shown that a type of waves known as S-waves slow down significantly as they reach an average depth of about 62 mi (100 km) beneath Earth's surface. Then, at a depth of about 155 mi (250 km), their velocity increases once more. Geologists have taken these changes in wave velocity as indications of the boundaries for the region now known as the asthenosphere.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: A-series and B-series to Ballistic Missiles - Categories Of Ballistic MissileAsthenosphere - Evidence For The Existence Of The Asthenosphere, Properties Of The Asthenosphere, The Asthenosphere In Plate Tectonic Theory