"Scientists have drilled a hole thousands of feet beneath the floor of the
North Atlantic Ocean and extracted rocks from Earth’s mantle. It’s the deepest
hole ever dug to collect mantle rock, according to a blog post from the
Below Earth’s crust lies the mantle—a layer of mostly solid rock around 1,800
miles thick that makes up 84 percent of the planet’s total volume. It’s mostly
composed of silicates, compounds of silicon and oxygen. The mantle contributes
to the evolution of the crust and plays a role in plate tectonics.
Scientists struggle to study the mantle. It lies around 20 to 25 miles below
the Earth’s surface on land, making it impossible to drill to, according to the
scientific prospectus for the current expedition. But deep at sea, the crust is
only three to four miles deep.
The researchers aboard the JOIDES Resolution
, the ship conducting the
exploration, hope the extracted cores can help them better understand the
composition and structure of the mantle, as well as processes that occur inside
the mantle, according to the post.
It can also help scientists learn about the role magma plays in volcanism,
Johan Lissenberg, a geologist at Cardiff University in Wales on the ship, tells
’s Paul Voosen. “This could be a whole step forward for understanding
magmatism—and the global composition of the bulk Earth,” Lissenberg tells the
The researchers also hope the rocks can provide insight into how chemical
reactions between mantle rocks and water may have created the first life on
Earth, writes the Washington Post
’s Carolyn Y. Johnson."
Via Future Crunch
*** Xanni ***
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