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Journey Towards The Center of the Earth 185

Posted by Zonk
from the verne-would-have-been-proud dept.
linumax wrote to mention an article detailing an ambitious Japanese-led voyage towards the center of the earth. From the article: "The deep-sea drilling vessel Chikyu made a port call Thursday in Yokohama after ending its first training mission at sea since being built in July at a cost of 500 million dollars. The 57,500-ton Chikyu, which means the Earth in Japanese, is scheduled to embark in September 2007 on a voyage to collect the first samples of the Earth's mantle in human history. The project, led by Japan and the United States with the participation of China and the European Union, seeks clues on primitive organisms that were the forerunners of life and on the tectonic plates that shake the planet's foundations" They also hope to use the information to detect earthquakes more accurately. A 4 page PDF presentation about the Chikyu deep-sea drilling vessel is also available."
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Journey Towards The Center of the Earth

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  • by Neil Blender (555885) <> on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:11PM (#14276998)
    That drill is going to make about 0.1% of the way.
  • by athomascr (851385) on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:34PM (#14277115)
    >"on a voyage to collect the first samples of the Earth's mantle in human history" That is, the first samples that haven't come to us.
  • by cluckshot (658931) on Saturday December 17, 2005 @09:44AM (#14279275)

    Sorry to be a party pooper, not a troll though. All this fun about what they might hit is a bit over done. The depth of drilling is 25,000 feet. That is a bad joke. They drill 31,000 feet in South Alabama all the time. They drill nearly 50,000 feet at Petronius 65 miles south of Alabama. What they have hit doesn't in any way resemble the "mantle" and I really doubt this project is ever going close to the "mantle."

    This rig might do a somewhat useful drilling of fault zones and it might find other useful things but this isn't likely to be of any use in actual "mantle" research.

    The Russians have drilled locations much deeper and attempted to go into the mantle. They hit hot salt water in the rock but nothing resembling the "mantle" that we all have been so rigorously taught to believe exists. Actually so many deep bores of the earth exist around the world that vastly exceed this depth it seems to me almost useless to consider this "research." Maybe we should be considering exactly what the research is actually going to be? I wouldn't hazard a guess but unless the ship is going to bore something like 200,000 feet the prospects of really new research coming from it are dubious. The world is full of holes going down 25,000 feet.

    My suspicion is that they will find if they drill fault zones a pretty shocking reality that they knew nothing of what was going on. It would be a fair prediction to estimate that these zones are water penetration zones. The seismic signature of a "diving plate" is probably only a water penetration crack into the rocks below. This would explain the volcanoes and all without any of the subduction or other stuff. Such a discovery would have the science of Geology scratching their heads for a long time. They might discover that the earths plates match (as they do!) in the Pacific as well as the Atlantic. They might discover like Yukos found that there is "Magma oil." They might just come up with a bunch of other fun stuff. Again they might not but who knows? It could be a lot of fun watching.

Prototype designs always work. -- Don Vonada