An Eye-Opening Discovery: Reservoir Of Water Underneath The Earth’s Surface Found.
Water underneath the Earth’s surface may sound a bit far fetched to some but after a recent study by American researchers, this theory has become a reality. According to researchers, in the intermediate zone of the mantle, located in between the crust and Earth’s core, lies an “ocean” roughly three times the total volume of all of Earth’s oceans combined. Apparently, the reservoir has stabilized over time, resting at 700 Kilometers below the surface in between the upper and lower mantle, which we know to be the intermediate zone.
Inside the intermediate zone, researchers have discovered molecules of water that have transformed into Hydroxyl Radical which binds into a crystal-like structure we know to be ringwoodite. This is considered proof that there is water resting underneath the surface of the Earth.
Geophysicist Steven Jacobsen of the Northwestern University and Seismologist Brandon Schmandt of the University of Mexico are responsible for leading the group of researchers. Jacobsen has been studying the material at Northwestern University for years and concludes that Ringwoodite has properties similar to that of a sponge, soaking up the water deep within the mantle. It is formed from Olivine under remarkably high pressures and temperatures. Additionally, thecrystalline structure is quite rare.
This discovery changes the way we look at the Earth’s Hydrological cycle and the origin of the masses of water on the Earth’s surface. Many Geologists speculate the Earth’s water originates from Space, or more specifically, from comets covered in ice that crashed onto our planet millions of years ago.
However, this discovery reinforces the idea that our oceans gradually emerged onto the surface from the Earth’s depths in it’s infant stages with the force of tectonic plates. According to Jacobsen, “The indications show that Earth’s water came from inside.”
With the use of over 2,000 seismographs to study over 500 earthquakes in the USA produced by seismic waves, researchers are able to determine the type and density of rocks passed by measuring the propagation velocity of the waves at different depths. This inconspicuous water slowed down the seismic waves since they take longer to penetrate rock that has been hydrated, which is how researchers detected it.
More specifically, the experiments have proven the sponge-like nature of Ringwoodite and it’s caused. Brandon Schmandt stated, “When a rock with a lot of H20 moves from the Transition Zone to the lower Mantle, it needs to get rid of the H20 somehow, so it melts a little bit. This is called Dehydration Melting.”