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Underground reservoir triple size of oceans found

  1. Jun 15, 2014 #1

    Greg Bernhardt

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    The question is whether it's theoretically possible to tap this source for human use?

    http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/6/13/water-ringwooditeoceans.html
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2014 #2

    OmCheeto

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    No need for comets? Interesting.
    We had a discussion about how much water was locked in the earth's crust awhile back. It was very interesting.
    Wait! What's this?
    [editorial nitpicking]
    I think they need a science editor to proof their articles. A quick google search indicates the deepest mine in the world is only 2.3 miles deep.
    The diamond was formed 400 +/- x miles below the earth's surface.
    [/editorial nitpicking]​

    Also, in another thread

    That's quite a bit of water.

    But my answer to your question is: "Just hang around volcanoes". :tongue:

    There's an interesting table on that second link.

    Examples of volcanic gas compositions, in volume percent concentrations
    (from Symonds et. al., 1994)


    Code (Text):

    Volcano           Kilauea     Erta` Ale         Momotombo
    Tectonic Style    Hot Spot    Divergent Plate   Convergent Plate
    H20               37.1        77.2              97.1
    C02               48.9        11.3               1.44
    S02               11.8         8.34              0.50
    97% of Momotombo's gas composition is H2O.

    And can Kilauea's low H2O content imply a lower concentration in the mantle?
     
  4. Jun 17, 2014 #3
    Hmm.

    Reservations:

    1. It is misleading to say this is a reservoir of water. The ringwoodite absorbs, or more probably adsorbs, hydroxide ions.
    2. Given the depths at which the ringwoodite is stable it seems equally probable that the water has been carried there by subduction, as that it has always been there.

    What is needed are more recovered samples of ringwoodite on which we could determine oxygen isotope ratios for comparison with oceanic ratios.

    As to the notion of tapping this for human use, the only practical method is Om Cheeto's suggestion: just hang around volcanoes. However, most of that is likely recycled.
     
  5. Jun 17, 2014 #4

    D H

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    Staff: Mentor

  6. Jun 17, 2014 #5

    OmCheeto

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    My hypothesis, based on the snippet from Greg's article:

    is that either explanation is valid. Wasn't the earth formed at the same time as the rest of the solar system? Weren't all the planets vacuuming up comets and debris left and right back then? It makes sense to me that once the planet coalesced, over time, all of the elements and molecules would naturally stratify. So there's really no good reason, IMHO, to believe it wasn't here all along.

    But it looks like the people who have the tidbit of Ringwoodite are thinking of putting it to the test:

    I find it fascinating that such a tiny fragment, can answer a centuries old question.

    Yay Science!
     
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