Scientists discover a new gigantic ocean on Earth … hidden in the depths of the planet
The amount of water enclosed by the mantle would be similar to that of all the oceans on the surface of the globe
A recent study reveals the presence of an ocean in the depths of the rocky mantle of the earth. This discovery should help scientists understand the water cycle of the Earth and how the tectonic plates are moving sea between the surface of our planet and the “inner shells”.
(The mantle is the layer of hot rock present between the core of the Earth and the Earth’s crust). Scientists have long assumed that the transition zone of the mantle (which lies between the upper and lower mantle, between 410 and 660 kilometers below the surface of the Earth) could contain water contained by a type of rare rock.
If direct evidence of the existence of this aquatic area have long missed scientists, they are now well available.
To say that this transition zone was indeed a water tank hidden in the depths of the Earth, the researchers conducted experiments on the mineral-rich water, after analyzing seismic waves that travel through the Earth’s mantle under U.S. territory.
They discovered that the material passing to the lower part of the mantle melt came as she walked away from his transition zone. “If we were able to observe this phenomenon, the presence of water in the transition zone is then inevitable” said Brandon Schmandt, a seismologist at the University of New Mexico and co-author of the study published June 12 in the journal “Science”.
The laboratory studies we showed that these minerals could contain water other than in liquid, solid, or gas: water is like “trapped” in the molecular structure of ringwoodite. The ringwoodite is an extremely rare type of mineral from olivine, which forms only under very high pressures and high temperatures, specifically those found in the transition zone of the mantle.
According to Graham Pearson, mantle specialist at the University of Alberta (which has not participated in this work), “this study is a crucial tool for understanding the role of the transition zone on the hydrogen flux the depths of the Earth. “