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Earth Science

New Evidence For Oceans of Water Deep In the Earth 190

Posted by samzenpus
from the there-is-water-at-the-bottom-of-the-ocean dept.
techtech (2016646) writes Researchers from Northwestern University and the University of New Mexico report evidence for potentially oceans worth of water deep beneath the United States. Though not in the familiar liquid form—the ingredients for water are bound up in rock deep in the Earth's mantle—the discovery may represent the planet's largest water reservoir. This research was published in Science.
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New Evidence For Oceans of Water Deep In the Earth

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  • Fraking! (Score:5, Funny)

    by riverat1 (1048260) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @10:14PM (#47226823)

    This will be a new application for hydraulic fracturing to release the water from the rock.

  • Another irreplaceable resource to exploit an make a buck!

  • Does it mean hygrogen & oxigen are separately bound up in rock?

    • By RTFA I discovered that "This water is not in a form familiar to us—it is not liquid, ice or vapor. This fourth form is water trapped inside the molecular structure of the minerals in the mantle rock. The weight of 250 miles of solid rock creates such high pressure, along with temperatures above 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, that a water molecule splits to form a hydroxyl radical (OH), which can be bound into a mineral's crystal structure."

      • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @11:47PM (#47227157) Homepage

        Water.

        You all keep using that word. I do not think that word means what you think it means.

        For all of you who think you can drill down and suck some of this out - it's several hundred KILOMETERS (that's a unit of measure, common in the rest of the world - think of it as something like half a mile) down. It's NOT liquid.

        You can't have it, no matter how much you want it.

        • Oh, well if several hundred kilometers is just half a mile, I'm sure we'll have no difficulty reaching the mantle
        • by rossdee (243626)

          " KILOMETERS (that's a unit of measure, common in the rest of the world - think of it as something like half a mile) "

          Actually the unit of measure common in the rest of the world Kilometre is more like 6 tenths of a mile.
          I tend to think of it as 186/300 (as in thousands of, per second (light speed))

          But we don't need to go hundreds of Km down to get enough energy to vapourize (and desalinate) the oceans that are on the surface of the planet.
          and provide the rest of our energy needs. There are places where th

          • There are places where the magma is pretty close to the surface (Iceland, Hawaii, the central part of The North Island, Yellowstone...

            Somehow, I don't think it's a good idea to drill those specific locations.

        • The interesting question is, I suppose, whether or not this source of "water" is responsible for the oceans, or if they came about from e.g. cometary impacts post-crust formation (before the crust formed they don't really count as "cometary impacts", it was all just part of the formation process). This has a significant impact on the probability of finding water on extrasolar planets and hence on the CO_2/O_2/H_2O/N_2 life cycle establishing itself. There is of course evidence in the form of e.g. Europa a

        • it's several hundred KILOMETERS (that's a unit of measure, common in the rest of the world - think of it as something like half a mile) down.

          It's also located directly below the continental United States. You should be fine with saying it's 400 miles down if you expect Americans to speak in terms of kilometers when they find themselves in your SI or metric neighborhood.

          When in Rome...

        • it's several hundred KILOMETERS (that's a unit of measure, common in the rest of the world - think of it as something like half a mile) down.

          Erm... half a mile? Not quite. 160 kilometers could be considered within the range of several hundred kilometers. 160 kilometers would be 100 miles. Not half a mile. :)

          Kind regards,
          strike

    • Does it mean hygrogen & oxigen are separately bound up in rock?

      It's stored in hydrates when underground usually:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org]

      • by leandrod (17766)

        Thanks for the link. Thus my whining at a patently absurd phrase actually taught me something nice!

      • Not Sure (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Mineral hydration? I guess even rocks love Brawndo. It's got electrolytes. That's what rocks crave!
  • Seems to me (Score:3, Informative)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @10:45PM (#47226951) Journal

    It's still easier to get fresh water from the atmosphere. Since it falls down freely, we just have to harvest it. I mean, the deepest hole we've dug is what, five miles? Let's just wait for it to seep out, like the methane and oil do. Besides we are only using about one percent of the water we have on or above the surface. The "crisis" is in management, not supply.

    • Right on!

      The easiest way to move water from here to there is to put it in the atmosphere at a place where the prevailing winds will carry the rain clouds where we want them. And we know how to do that for California!

      We'd have to work out the best depth to set off the nukes and the best megatonnage per blow, but those are trivial problems.

      Hell, we have the delivery systems. We have the nuclear arsenal (and that's just an embarrassment any more). This is consistent with the Manifest Destiny that made the U

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @10:54PM (#47226989) Journal
    Seriously, this could be where a lot of Mar's water went. That is under Martian surface.
    • We know where the water went on Mars, it was split by UV radiation and the Hydrogen was blown off into space, pretty much the same as what happened on Venus but Mars lacks the gravity to retain a big pile of CO2. The water that was already under the crust has stayed there and will definitely be in liquid form where the ground pressure it just right for that to occur.
      • No, we ASSUME that is what happen. Considering that we really know very little about Mars since we have very little data to work from, means that are making loads of working hypothesis and still have a lot of future work to determine what is going on.

        BTW, I find it interesting that you are so sure, when here on earth with all of the work that we have done, and we still find loads of things that are wrong with our hypothesis and theories.
  • Water? (Score:5, Funny)

    by msauve (701917) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @11:01PM (#47227017)
    "a hydroxyl radical (OH), which can be bound into a mineral's crystal structure."

    Oceans of water? OH, no!
  • ......can't wait to pollute this, too.
  • The plot of the SF novels "Flood" and "Ark" by Stephen Baxter is that huge water reservoirs beneath the earth's crust get released to the surface, which raises the ocean levels until all land is under water.
  • by BlackPignouf (1017012) on Friday June 13, 2014 @04:52AM (#47228087)

    How is it different than gypsum, CaSO4-2H2O?

  • ... tl:dr - google Thomas Gold Deep Hot Biosphere.

    Kind of nice to know momma earth is a good place to be.

  • Evidence for both. This study leans toward outgassing.
  • By this logic I shit diamonds! Hey, there's a lot of carbon bound up in human waste. Carbon is an (nay, the) ingredient in diamond, therefore New Evidence For Oceans of Diamonds Deep In The Sewer.
    • by iggymanz (596061)

      no, diamond has a specific crystalline form. You can't even shit graphite without eating a pencil or similar first

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