A hidden ocean has been recently discovered underneath the Earth’s crust. This secret ocean may not be one that needs to be added to the world map, but it does reinforce the theory that our water all over the globe originated over 400 of miles down beneath the surface. Yahoo! News reports this Friday, June 13, 2014, that this massive body of water is locked in a special blue mineral below North America.
Scientists have learned this June of a new, hidden ocean that apparently holds up to three times the amount of water our oceans have up on the surface. As evidenced in a new study, this secret reservoir of water is buried under Earth’s mantle. It is estimated that 400 miles below the world’s curst, this water is trapped in a crystalline mineral commonly called ringwoodite. What relevance does this discovery have today? Well, it might give us a very big clue as to where our current water supply actually came from in the distant past.
The Huffington Post reveals this afternoon that this massive amount of subterranean water might also influence plate tectonics, or the shifting of land mass within the outer crust of Earth. As such, this hidden ocean beneath North America might actually significantly result in certain phenomenon like volcanoes and earthquakes.
"Geological processes on the Earth’s surface, such as earthquakes or erupting volcanoes, are an expression of what is going on inside the Earth, out of our sight," geophysicist Dr. Steven Jacobsen, an associate professor at Northwestern University, said in a written statement. "I think we are finally seeing evidence for a whole-Earth water cycle, which may help explain the vast amount of liquid water on the surface of our habitable planet. Scientists have been looking for this missing deep water for decades."
In tandem with a fellow earth expert, Dr. Brrandon Schmandt of the University of New Mexico, this geophysicist is currently using a form of advanced technology, called a seismometer, to determine the strength of earthquakes and the resulting seismic waves within the Earth. The researchers learned of this possible hidden ocean after they realized that the seismic waves would suddenly weaken when approaching the ringwoodite mineral in the world’s mantle, 400 miles beneath the surface — all of which suggested liquid saturation.
Ultimately, this breakthrough finding has found that the ringwoodite might in fact be a transition zone of sorts, existing somewhere between the lower and upper mantle of Earth. Over the millions of years, scientists expect that this huge reservoir of water might no longer simply be free-standing, but actually merged with the blue crystalline mineral. It suggests that our essential water all humans need did not necessarily come from foreign comets, but our own Mother Earth.
"It's good evidence the Earth's water came from within," Jacobsen told the New Scientist in a statement.