Skip to comments.Huge 'Ocean' Discovered Inside Earth
Posted on 03/02/2007 3:27:53 PM PST by presidio9
Scientists scanning the deep interior of Earth have found evidence of a vast water reservoir beneath eastern Asia that is at least the volume of the Arctic Ocean.
The discovery marks the first time such a large body of water has found in the planets deep mantle.
The finding, made by Michael Wysession, a seismologist at Washington State University in St. Louis, and his former graduate student Jesse Lawrence, now at the University of California, San Diego, will be detailed in a forthcoming monograph to be published by the American Geophysical Union.
Looking down deep
The pair analyzed more than 600,000 seismogramsrecords of waves generated by earthquakes traveling through the Earthcollected from instruments scattered around the planet.
They noticed a region beneath Asia where seismic waves appeared to dampen, or attenuate, and also slow down slightly. Water slows the speed of waves a little, Wysession explained. Lots of damping and a little slowing match the predictions for water very well.
Previous predictions calculated that if a cold slab of the ocean floor were to sink thousands of miles into the Earths mantle, the hot temperatures would cause water stored inside the rock to evaporate out.
That is exactly what we show here, Wysession said. Water inside the rock goes down with the sinking slab and its quite cold, but it heats up the deeper it goes, and the rock eventually becomes unstable and loses its water.
The water then rises up into the overlying region, which becomes saturated with water [image]. It would still look like solid rock to you, Wysession told LiveScience. You would have to put it in the lab to find the water in it.
Although they appear solid, the composition of some ocean floor rocks is up to 15 percent water. The water molecules are actually stuck in the mineral structure of the rock, Wysession explained. As you heat this up, it eventually dehydrates. Its like taking clay and firing it to get all the water out.
The researchers estimate that up to 0.1 percent of the rock sinking down into the Earths mantle in that part of the world is water, which works out to about an Arctic Oceans worth of water.
Thats a real back of the envelope type calculation, Wysession said. Thats the best that we can do at this point.
The Beijing anomaly
Wysession has dubbed the new underground feature the Beijing anomaly, because seismic wave attenuation was found to be highest beneath the Chinese capital city. Wysession first used the moniker during a presentation of his work at the University of Beijing.
They thought it was very, very interesting, Wysession said. China is under greater seismic risk than just about any country in the world, so they are very interested in seismology.
Water covers 70 percent of Earths surface and one of its many functions is to act like a lubricant for the movement of continental plates.
Look at our sister planet, Venus, Wysession said. It is very hot and dry inside Venus, and Venus has no plate tectonics. All the water probably boiled off, and without water, there are no plates. The system is locked up, like a rusty Tin Man with no oil.
Dissolved gases in magma, like water vapor and carbon dioxide, are the driving force of explosive volcanic eruptions. The very fact that the planet erupts CO2 makes me a man-made global warming skeptic.
For God's sake don't drill. Remember the Indonesian Mud Pie!
All that water in this hidden ocean is from the tears of Mother Nature, weeping, weeping I tell you, for the global warming that we thoughtless humans are causing to her planet.
>Although they appear solid, the composition of some ocean >floor rocks is up to 15 percent water.
So in other words, the headline is misleading. It should read "large section of rock that has a fair bit of water in it has been discovered". Clearly anyone who read the first few sentences had a vision of free-flowing water sloshing around.
fascinating. bump for later reading
Listen, sometimes I post stories without reading the entire article, and I don't need someone like you to come around and ruin my daydreams for me. Here I was thinking I could team up with Aquaman and make contact with the previously undiscovered civilization that had developed in this underground ocean. Who knows, they might have even treated me like a king. Now, thanks to you, its ruined for me. Hope you're happy.
Some of the other threads have the map. Why is the water under east Asia and under North America and not elsewhere?
That's funny, I was actually thinking of aquaman, too.
Sure, but the rock layers containing the water are 500 miles thick, which represents a lot of water.
The US and China are the biggest customers, of course!
That wouldn't even be considered a damp rock if it were on the surface. Air has more water than that.
Now if we can only get Hollywood crowd involved in that noble effort, maybe they'll shut up for a while
And if this water gets to the surface of Asia the sea levels will rise dozens of feet as Asia sinks because the water is no long holding up the land.
Gen 8:2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;
Amazing that the bible recorded this information long before scientists discovered it.
No....that's not amazing. What's amazing is that almost no one realizes that. Dust em' off and open em' up.... folks. Thanks for the ping Doug!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.