A staggering amount of water floats deep into the interior of the Earth by some tectonic borders, a new comprehensive seismic study by Mariana Rrench revealed, Phis.org reports.
A study of the first species that took place along the deepest trenches in the world revealed that the amount of water that passes through the "cracks" in subduction zones-places where tectonic plates fly deep into the Earth-can be as many as four times that suggested previous estimates. And the water disappears far deeper into the ceiling board, even 20 miles below the sea.
"People knew that the subduction zone could lead to water, but they did not know how much water," said Chen Cai of the University of Washington, the first author of the study.
"This research shows that subduction zones move far more water in the deeper interior of the Earth – many miles below the surface – than previously thought," added Candace Major, program director at the Ocean Science Department of the National Science Foundation, who funded the study.
The subduction zone, which causes most of the deeper trenches on the planet, can bring water into the interior of the Earth due to the high pressures and temperature conditions they create. Stones along these borders can behave like sponge, absorbing water and pulling them with them. Until now, scientists did not know how much water was lowered, and the numbers were so significant that it was not clear where the water was.
Where is this water going?
The good news is that most of the water is likely to be thrown at some point. For example, volcanoes pour the water vapor back into the atmosphere as part of this water cycle. The only problem is the measurement of water vapor released by volcanoes by the estimates from this study on the amount of water that is lost through the subduction. In other words, the amount of water that goes into the ground appears to be considerably greater than the amount of water that comes out.
So, at this point, where the water goes is a little mystery. It's not lost – sea levels have not dramatically sunk throughout the history of this planet – but more research will have to be done to determine how the water cycle is maintained.
"The estimates of the return of water through the volcanic arc are probably very uncertain," said Doug Viens, research advisor in the study. "This study is likely to cause some re-evaluation."
One possible explanation is that not all subduction zones are created equal. Perhaps the conditions along the Marian jar are far more extreme than in other places around the planet, where less water is lost. It's a hypothesis for another study.
"Does the quantity of water differ significantly from one subduction zone to the other, based on the type of malfunction you have when the panel folds?" Viens asked. "These were suggestions in Alaska and Central America, but nobody looked into the deeper structure, as we could do at Mary's summit."
A huge amount of water sinks through the tectonic fault lines of the planet
The staggering amount of water in the planet springs deep into the interior of the Earth in some tectonic borders, a new study revealed. But where is it going?