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Science & Technology

Huge 'ocean' discovered in Earth's interior

By T.K. Randall
June 15, 2014 · Comment icon 59 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 (59)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #50 Posted by kidagakash 10 years ago
Maybe microbial? Ringwoodite. It holds oxygen and hydrogen in solid form I think. soaks it up like a sponge.
Comment icon #51 Posted by aquatus1 10 years ago
wow ok, so how much water can exists on earth then? So far we have; 1) evaporated water in the sky, currently a huge reservoir in continuous expansion and always in a cycle. 2) 71 percent of earths surface is covered by waters. No need to guess. There are people who actually do this for a living. Spheres representing all of Earth's water, Earth's liquid fresh water, and water in lakes and rivers The largest sphere represents all of Earth's water, and its diameter is about 860 miles (the distance from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Topeka, Kansas). It would have a volume of about 332,500,000 cubic mi... [More]
Comment icon #52 Posted by qxcontinuum 10 years ago
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 10 years ago
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 10 years ago
Boring-ass movie, lol. Maybe, but we did get to see Jeanne Tripplehorn's rear end.
Comment icon #55 Posted by Lex540 10 years ago
.......................................Not Possible!!!!
Comment icon #56 Posted by aquatus1 10 years ago
Go on.
Comment icon #57 Posted by Scandal 10 years ago
I would love to fish that sea.
Comment icon #58 Posted by Yes_Man 10 years ago
Also this will help finding out water or if there was water on Planets.
Comment icon #59 Posted by RaymondEternal 10 years ago
All things happen in Reality...


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