Science

The ocean in the depths of the Earth – Sciences et Avenir

This article is taken from the monthly journal Sciences et Avenir – La Recherche #909 of November 2022.

A large amount of water is present even in the bowels of the planet: this is confirmed by the study of a diamond consisting of several bluish inclusions.

23,000 bar and 1650°C

This stone from the Karowe mine in Botswana, crystallized at a depth of 660 kilometers, contains in its structure dense minerals such as wadsleyite and ringwoodite, which are formed under pressure and temperature at a depth of 410 to 660 kilometers, that is, up to 23,000 bar and 1650 ° C.

Transition zone capable of absorbing huge amounts of water

Thus, this superdeep diamond comes from the lower part of the transition zone separating the upper mantle from the lower mantle, a region dominated by ringwoodite. Because wadsleyite and ringwoodite are able to hold so much water, the transition zone could theoretically absorb six times as much water as our oceans in the form of hydrated rocks!

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