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Huge 'ocean' discovered in Earth's interior


Posted on Sunday, 15 June, 2014 | Comment icon 61 comments

Massive amounts of water remain locked up underground. Image Credit: José Luís Ávila Silveira
A massive reservoir of water three times the volume of all the world's oceans lies 700km underground.
Jules Verne's depiction of a huge sea in the center of the Earth may have been closer to reality than previously believed according to new research that has identified a massive volume of water contained between the rocks in the planet's mantle.

So great in fact is this subterranean reservoir that the water stored there is thought to make up a combined volume equal to three times that of all the oceans on the Earth's surface put together.

Hidden 700km beneath our feet in a type of rock called ringwoodite, the discovery suggests that the water in our oceans might have originally oozed out of the planet's interior in the distant past rather than having been deposited on the surface by comets.

Given how much water is still down there it is actually quite fortunate that it is still locked up deep underground. The risk of sea levels rising due to global warming is inconsequential compared to what would happen if all the water trapped inside the Earth were to ever make its way to the surface.

Source: New Scientist | Comments (61)

Tags: Earth, Water, Underground, Mantle


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #52 Posted by qxcontinuum on 18 June, 2014, 3:19
I think i understand what you are saying, if talking in cubic miles. Although over71 % of earth's surface is covered by waters, in cubic miles comparing to the total of dry land including earths solid substrates the percentage reported of water quantity will be as showing in the pic above..correct? However since there have been recent discoveries made like this one about huge quantities of water underground plus others that we might not know, that bubble of water seems to be growing more isnt'it?
Comment icon #53 Posted by aquatus1 on 18 June, 2014, 4:12
I think i understand what you are saying, if talking in cubic miles. Although over71 % of earth's surface is covered by waters, in cubic miles comparing to the total of dry land including earths solid substrates the percentage reported of water quantity will be as showing in the pic above..correct? Correct. All of the water on the planet put together, even the stuff we just now discovered mentioned in the article, would be barely a sheen on the planet if distributed uniformly over the surface. That said, we have to keep in mind that a full half of our theoretical sheen above is actually trappe... [More]
Comment icon #54 Posted by Myles on 24 June, 2014, 13:04
Boring-ass movie, lol. Maybe, but we did get to see Jeanne Tripplehorn's rear end.
Comment icon #55 Posted by goodgodno on 24 June, 2014, 23:58
I read the article. I just thought it would be interesting if there were lifeforms in water reserves in the depths of the earth. I still think microbial lifeforms could exist there. Who really knows. Heck I want to know whats buried under Antarctica. Hopefully not this. There certainly is life in some of our "shallow" aquifers, they are called Stygofauna.
Comment icon #56 Posted by goodgodno on 25 June, 2014, 13:05
Calling it a "huge ocean" is misleading and is not the best way to describe this find. The water is locked up in Ringwoodite and this is very much a solid, but is capable of holding water at these depths because the pressure and temperatures are optimal. If you drilled a hole into this zone (assuming we bypass all of the other problems associated with drilling such deep holes) it would not "flood the earth". Without getting too technical, the rock will have the ability to store water (we refer to this as storativity), however its ability to transmit water will be very, very small (we call this... [More]
Comment icon #57 Posted by Lex540 on 26 June, 2014, 10:42
.......................................Not Possible!!!!
Comment icon #58 Posted by aquatus1 on 27 June, 2014, 0:33
Go on.
Comment icon #59 Posted by Scandal on 27 June, 2014, 9:12
I would love to fish that sea.
Comment icon #60 Posted by Yes_Man on 27 June, 2014, 9:21
Also this will help finding out water or if there was water on Planets.
Comment icon #61 Posted by RaymondEternal on 4 August, 2014, 13:17
All things happen in Reality...


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