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In new shock-compression experiments at an x-ray synchrotron, Sally June Tracy and colleagues, observed that SiO2 transforms from an amorphous material to a tetragonal crystal at a pressure of 36 GPa.
Scientists have struggled to understand why there are hot spots in Volcanoes. New research chalks the mystery up to “dark magma”: deep underground pockets of red-hot molten rock that siphon energy from Earth’s core. “It’s a very provocative paper ... a bit speculative,” says Thomas Duffy, a geoscientist at Princeton University who was not involved with the study. “But it’s taking us in an important step on the road to understanding the deep Earth.”