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The Moho: photo of Earth"s interior structure by USGS - Mohorovicic Discontinuity (red line) added by lifwynnfoundation.org.

You are watching: Where is the moho located?


What is the Mohorovičić Discontinuity?

The Mohorovicic Discontinuity, or "Moho," is the boundary between the crust and also the mantle. The red line in the diagram shows its location.

In lifwynnfoundation.org the word "discontinuity" is provided for a surface ar at i m sorry seismic waves readjust velocity. Among these surfaces exist at an typical depth the 8 kilometers beneath the ocean basin and at an median depth of around 32 kilometers in ~ the continents. In ~ this discontinuity, seismic tide accelerate. This surface is well-known as the Mohorovicic Discontinuity or regularly simply referred to as the "Moho."


How to be the Moho Discovered?

The Mohorovicic Discontinuity was discovered in 1909 through Andrija Mohorovicic, a Croatian seismologist. Mohorovicic realized that the velocity of a seismic wave is pertained to the thickness of the product that that is moving through. He construed the acceleration of seismic tide observed within Earth"s outer shell as a compositional change within the Earth. The acceleration should be resulted in by a higher density material being existing at depth.

The lower density material immediately beneath the surface ar is now frequently referred to as "Earth"s crust." The greater density material listed below the crust came to be known together "Earth"s mantle." Through careful density calculations, Mohorovicic identified that the basaltic oceanic crust and also the granitic continental crust are underlain through a material which has a density comparable to an olivine-rich absent such together peridotite.


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Crustal thickness map: Thickness that Earth"s crust by USGS - since the Moho is in ~ the base of the crust, this map additionally shows depth come Moho.


How Deep is the Moho?

The Mohorovicic Discontinuity clues the lower limit the Earth"s crust. As stated above, it occurs at an average depth of about 8 kilometers in ~ the s basins and 32 kilometers beneath continental surfaces. Mohorovicic was able to use his discovery to examine thickness sport of the crust. He discovered that the oceanic crust has actually a reasonably uniform thickness, while continental crust is thickest under hill ranges and thinner under plains.

The map on this web page illustrates the thickness that Earth"s crust. Note how the thickest locations (red and dark brown) space beneath some of Earth"s essential mountain ranges such together the Andes (west side of southern America), Rockies (western phibìc America), Himalayas (north the India in south-central Asia), and also Urals (north-south trending in between Europe and Asia).


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Mantle absent at surface: Ordovician ophiolite in Gros Morne national Park, Newfoundland, Canada. Old mantle absent exposed in ~ the surface. (GNU cost-free Documentation license Image).


Has Anyone ever Seen the Moho?

No one has ever been deep sufficient into the planet to watch the Moho, and no wells have ever been drilled deep enough to pass through it. Drilling wells to the depth is really expensive and very complicated because of the extreme temperature and also pressure conditions. The deepest well that has actually been drilled to date was located on the Kola Peninsula the the Soviet Union. It to be drilled to a depth of about 12 kilometers. Drilling come the Moho with oceanic late has likewise been unsuccessful.

There room a few rare areas where mantle material has actually been brought to the surface ar by tectonic forces. At these locations, rock that provided to be at the crust / mantle boundary is present. A photograph of rock from one of these places is displayed on this page.


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