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Japanese scientists to drill in to the mantle


Posted on Sunday, 9 April, 2017 | Comment icon 15 comments

Who will be the first to reach the Earth's mantle ? Image Credit: NASA
The aim will be to drill all the way down through the Earth's crust for the first time in history.
It's not quite 'Journey to the Center of the Earth', but if Japan's Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) succeeds in its goals it will mean that, for the first time since efforts began more than 50 years ago, humans will have succeeded in reaching the planet's mantle - a silicate rocky shell which sits between the Earth's crust and the outer core.

The most recent attempt to reach the mantle, which was carried out by the Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling, ultimately only managed to drill down 700 meters - a mere fraction of the total thickness of the crust which is believed to be around 35 kilometers.

The JAMSTEC team will be using the Chikyu drilling ship for their attempt however they are unlikely to start drilling until 2030, instead opting to conduct a series of preliminary studies beforehand.

Their ultimate goal will be to collect samples from the mantle and bring them up for further study.

Source: Gizmodo | Comments (15)

Tags: Earth, Crust, Mantle

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by ChaosRose on 9 April, 2017, 22:44
It will be when the megaquake hits. I'd laugh, but that's not even funny.
Comment icon #7 Posted by coolguy on 10 April, 2017, 1:19
This could open a can of worms, i hope they dont do it
Comment icon #8 Posted by Scrunchkruckets on 10 April, 2017, 16:38
I cant believe nobody done this already
Comment icon #9 Posted by Almighty Evan on 10 April, 2017, 16:56
The Kola Superdeep Borehole (Russian: ???????? ????????????? ????????, Kolskaya sverkhglubokaya skvazhina) is the result of a scientific drilling project of the Soviet Union in the Pechengsky District, on the Kola Peninsula. The project attempted to drill as deep as possible into the Earth's crust. Drilling began on 24 May 1970 using the Uralmash-4E, and later the Uralmash-15000 series drilling rig. Boreholes were drilled by branching from a central hole. The deepest, SG-3, reached 12,262 metres (40,230 ft) in 1989 and still is the deepest artificial point on Earth.[1] The borehole is 9 inches... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by fred_mc on 10 April, 2017, 19:11
I think they are trying to find Gojira ;-) .
Comment icon #11 Posted by pallidin on 10 April, 2017, 19:41
Perhaps my silly fear of this drilling is with respect to the calculated dangers of hitting a magma source. For example, at Yellowstone National Park in the U.S., home to a truly massive magma chamber (aka Super Volcano), drilling is restricted and regulated for fear that artificial venting could make the chamber very unstable. Granted, the area of the proposed drilling for this issue is not within Yellowstone and does not, presumably, contain a massive magma chamber. So all would be good and much science can be derived, I suppose. Just hope the site geologists and technologists are firmly agr... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by highdesert50 on 10 April, 2017, 19:55
The Icelandic Deep Drilling Project had contact with magma in 2009 and lead to some explorative research on supercritical steam and power generation. I believe they are currently pursuing a second project destined for five kilometers by the end of the year, again to further their geothermal power production.
Comment icon #13 Posted by keithisco on 10 April, 2017, 19:58
I believe that there have been several projects along these lines going back to the MOHOle project in 1961. Later decades saw other schemes but it was considered highly debatable just what new data could be obtained from such an enterprise. Mantle magma samples are regularly extruded through surface vulanism and a lot easier to obtain.
Comment icon #14 Posted by seanjo on 11 April, 2017, 13:16
Exciting stuff, could be a forerunner to geo-power generators and the like.
Comment icon #15 Posted by James McCraken on 18 April, 2017, 5:00
don't kill us D:


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