The ground around Mariana's Trench, the deepest point on the planet, absorbs at least 4.3 times more water than expected, according to new research.
The researchers collected data from submerged seismographs on the seabed to better understand the behavior of the water in subduction zones; that is, the places where a tectonic plate falls below another. The subduction zones are common places for volcanic activity, but also how the water moves towards the deepest parts of the earth. This research may force researchers to rethink how water bikes work on the planet in general.
"Water is the key to understanding how our planet has evolved through geological time," he explained. Gizmodo The study's author, Chen Cai, from the University of Washington in St. Petersburg. Louis.
Mariana Trench is the deepest depression on earth, the place where the Still Disc subducts under the small plate of Marianas. The authors collected data from this region using 19 submersed seismometers and seven terrestrial seismic stations, implemented from January 2012 to February 2013. These instruments measure the sound waves over the earth used by scientists to create a picture of the crust and earthly mantle.
Researchers already knew that water went into the mantle through the subduction process, but these new results show that there is more water in the mantle than previously thought. The water extends 24 kilometers below the boundary between the crust and the mantle, according to the study published in Nature. And if the amount of water that came into Mariana's mantle had previously been underestimated, there could be more water sipping in other subduction zones.
This fact should make you wonder why the world's sea does not drain to lower levels. The answer is that more water can also come out of the world than previously thought. "We believe the amount of water expelled from the inside of the earth into the volcanoes has been underestimated," said Cai.
The study impressed his reviewer, Professor Donna Shillington from Columbia University. "One of the most exciting things about this study is the depth that they can seismically visualize the water that falls down to the subduction plate," he said. Gizmodo.
Cai acknowledged that the study covers only Marianas, and not other subduction zones, which will be studied later. Shillington explained that researchers were working on another data set in Alaska, which would serve as a comparison point with Marianas.
Water is one of the most important forces on our planet and controls "almost every aspect of how our planet works," said Shillington. Understanding the water of the earth leads us to understand the earth itself.[Nature]