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Gigantic Ocean Discovered 700 Km Beneath Earth’s Surface

April 3, 2024
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Some scientific discoveries and achievements have captivated the world. From a massive black hole to South Korean fusion reactor reaching highest-ever temperature, these staggering discoveries have blown our tiny little mind. And now, another scientific news has been gaining traction on social media – about a massive ocean hidden under the Earth’s crust. The water is stored 700 kilometres below the surface of the Earth in a rock known as ringwoodite. This subterranean reservoir is three times the volume of all the planet’s surface oceans combined.

The findings have been presented in detail in a 2014 scientific paper titled ‘Dehydration melting at the top of the lower mantle’. It also presented the unique properties of ringwoodite.

“The ringwoodite is like a sponge, soaking up water, there is something very special about the crystal structure of ringwoodite that allows it to attract hydrogen and trap water,” geophysicist Steve Jacobsen, a key member of the discovery team, had said at the time.

“I think we are finally seeing evidence for a whole-Earth water cycle, which may help explain the vast amount of liquid water on the surface of our habitable planet. Scientists have been looking for this missing deep water for decades,” he had further said.

Researchers made the discovery after studying earthquakes and discovering that seismometers were picking up shockwaves under the surface of the Earth.

“The high water storage capacity of minerals in Earth’s mantle transition zone (410- to 660-kilometer depth) implies the possibility of a deep H2O reservoir, which could cause dehydration melting of vertically flowing mantle. We examined the effects of downwelling from the transition zone into the lower mantle with high-pressure laboratory experiments, numerical modelling, and seismic P-to-S conversions,” said the scientists.

They also found intergranular melt in the transition zone. “These results suggest hydration of a large region of the transition zone and that dehydration melting may act to trap H2O in the transition zone.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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