In a previous post (4 years ago) I brought your attention to the existence of huge amount of water in Earth’s mantle. Quanta magazine recently reported on the latest news on this front: The Hunt for Earth’s Deep Hidden Oceans.
Here’s a diagram from that article summarizing the main ideas. Thank you Quanta magazine. Thank you Marcus Woo for this wonderful article.
Recent discoveries of water-bearing minerals hint that Earth’s mantle might hold more water than all the oceans combined. The findings challenge the standard ideas about Earth’s formation.
How Did the Water Get There?
The existence of a lot of water in the mantle makes it more difficult to explain the origin of Earth’s water. Scientists suspect that at least two mechanisms are at play:
WATER FROM THE START
As Earth coalesced out of dust and rock, some water molecules stuck to dust grains and survived the heat of the inner solar system.
COLLISIONS BROUGHT IT LATER
Water-rich asteroids from the distant solar system crash into early Earth. Over time, this water was subsumed into the mantle.
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