UNITED KINGDOM: According to a recent study published in the ‘Nature‘ journal, there might be a sixth ocean under the Earth’s crust. The transition zone, which extends hundreds of miles into the Earth’s interior, is where our planet’s upper and lower mantles meet.
Based on an analysis of an extremely rare diamond thought to have formed at a depth of about 410 miles below Botswana, an international team of scientists concluded that there is much more trapped water and carbon dioxide than previously thought in this region.
According to Frank Brenker, a researcher at the Institute for Geosciences at Goethe University in Frankfurt, “Our investigation has shown that the transition zone is not a dry sponge, but holds substantial amounts of water. This also moves Jules Verne’s concept of an ocean inside the Earth one step closer.”
Branker continued, “These sediments can store significant amounts of CO2 and water.” But up until this point, it remained unknown how much water enters the transition zone in the form of more stable, hydrous minerals and carbonates, making it doubtful that there is significant water storage.”
In fact, the transition zone alone may hold up to six times as much water as the combined volume in all of the Earth’s seas, according to the claim.
The team’s sample of diamond originated from an area of the Earth’s mantle where ringwoodite, an element that can contain water relatively well but only develops under extremely high pressures and temperatures, is the most common.
The studied diamond included ringwoodite, and hence water as well, which was the smoking gun for the researchers.
After examining a comparable diamond in 2014, scientists had a hunch that the Earth’s transition zone had a lot of water; however, the most recent study lends further support to this hypothesis.