Water is necessary for all the living beings on Earth. With the threat of global warming, the need of more water is increasing. It is important to find other water sources to survive until it’s too late. There is a hope to get more water deep within the Earth.
Scientists from the Florida State University discovered that water exists deeper in the Earth that the scientists earlier thought. They found a mineral below the Earth’s surface that may disclose how much water is piled up in our planet.
The discovery was led by the FSU Assistant Professor of Geology, Mainak Mookherjee and Andreas Hermann from the University of Edinburgh and other colleagues. This was printed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.
According to the Science Daily, the scientists found that in the deep about 400 to 600 kilometers into the mantle, water is stored and transported through a high-pressure polymorph of the mineral called brucite.
This is a greenish or grayish mineral consists of magnesium hydroxide. The mineral is formed during serpentinization of dunites.
Mookherjee asserted that they thought that water could not be stored by hydrous minerals like brucite at these depths.
The researchers said, water is kept in brucite through the high-pressure state of brucite. This means, the water could be stored in the far deeper areas without decomposition.
According to Florida State University News, earlier, the scientists thought that minerals in the Earth can not be stable. They would decompose and the water would be recycled back to the Earth’s surface through volcanic activity. But this new discovery shows this couldn’t be like that and water can exist deep within the planet.
Prof. Herman said that they had to do quantum-mechanical calculations until they found brucite. “We had to do quantum-mechanical calculations on thousands of potential structures until we found the one we now reported.”
Mookherjee further said that they need to know how much water could be stored deep in the Earth. “For the activity of the planet, deep Earth water is equally important to water on the surface.”
Water is also important for the geological activity below the Earth’s surface. The Science Daily reported, Mookherjee stated if water deep in the Earth is gone then the geological activity would also end. He said, “My goal is to understand how much water is stored in the deep Earth. If the planet becomes dry on the inside, the planet dies because geodynamic activity within the planet ceases.”
The two scientists plan to research more about the possibility of having more water far deep within the Earth.