The ‘roots’ of Colombian mountains ‘dripped’ into the mantle millions of years ago – but the peaks still stand tall

The ‘roots’ of Colombian mountains ‘dripped’ into the mantle millions of years ago – but the peaks still stand tall

A new study suggests that a Colombian mountain range has lost its “root” – a wedge of crust that once supported it, but has since “dripped” into the mantle. It has long been a mystery how the peaks manage to stay upright, but now, researchers are investigating the underlying geology.

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, a mountainous region in northwestern Colombia with peaks more than 18,700 feet (5,700 meters) high, has puzzled geologists since the 1970s, when measurements indicated that the crust beneath the peaks was unusually thin.

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