Researchers find that Earth’s inner ocean is much larger than previously thought

Scientists have found a massive volume of water 1,000km inside of our planet, around a third way to Earth’s core: “This water is much deeper than ever found before, at a third of the way to the edge of Earth’s core.”

A research published by scientists at the French University Jean Monnet has shown what for many years only appeared in science fiction books: oceans of water to unimaginable depths in the interior of the Earth, reports New Scientist.

For Steve Jacobsen, one of the members of the team of researchers, the discovery shows the existence of a reservoir of water much larger than previously believed located inside of our planet.

The Diamond found in Juína, Brazil. Mederic Palot

In addition, it is the deepest aquatic deposit ever found, since it is located a third of the distance between the outer layer of our planet and its core, a thousand kilometers deep.

This amazing discovery was made possible thanks to a strange diamond expelled by a volcano more than 90 million years ago and found near the São Luiz River in the municipality of Juína, in Brazil.

The rock has an imperfection in its structure produced in the first moments of its formation. This natural defect shows an unusual accumulation of “sealed” minerals inside the diamond, which contain hydroxyl ions, a functional group that comes from water.

In addition, the presence of minerals characteristic of the lower terrestrial mantle has allowed scientists to determine the depth of the water deposit.

An illustration of the internal composition of our planet. Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Scientists believe that this finding will allow us to understand why our planet has tectonic plates and what has been the role of water in its formation and conservation.

“If it were not there [the water], we would probably all be submerged,” believes Jacobsen, who also believes that this type of discovery will help understand how the oceans and Earth’s atmosphere formed.

According to Jacobsen, this study may help us better understand why Earth is the only planet we know to have plate tectonics.

“If there were no water inside the Earth, the convection of the Earth’s mantle would be inefficient and eventually cease,” explains the researcher.

“The expression on the surface of the convection of the mantle is the movement of plates, the process by which volcanoes are created; and volcanoes have a fundamental role in generating the crust in which we live. Ergo, if the volcanic activity stops, then so will the formation of the crust, generating a chain reaction that would end all planetary activities. ”

Source:

High-pressure phase of brucite stable at Earth’s mantle transition zone and lower mantle conditions

https://www.ualberta.ca/

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