A Reservoir 3 Times the Size of All the Oceans Combined Has Been Found 400 Miles Beneath Earth’s Surface

by Owen James Burke


(Image: The Guardian)

Lying over 400 miles beneath the earth’s surface is a layer of blue rock called ringwoodite, and it contains a volume of water three times that of all the world’s oceans combined.

“It’s good evidence the Earth’s water came from within,” Steven Jacobsen of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, told NewScientist.

In March of 2014, this diamond sample was located in Brazil, containing water. In the meantime, Jacobsen’s team has studied data recorded from over 500 earthquakes with 2,000 seismometers. By measuring the speed of the seismic waves, the team were able to tell which kinds of rocks existed at different depths, until at one depth, the waves moved much slower, proving that it was wetter down there.

The reservoir may be a buffer for the oceans, keeping them at the general levels at which they’ve remained for millions of years, suggests Jacobsen:

“We should be grateful for this deep reservoir,” says Jacobsen. “If it wasn’t there, it would be on the surface of the Earth, and mountain tops would be the only land poking out.”


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