Sunday, 15 June 2014

Massive Subterranean 'Ocean'

Massive 'ocean' discovered towards Earth's core - environment - 12 June 2014 - New Scientist

News this week that geologists led by Steven Jacobsen of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, USA, may have discovered a vast amount of water locked up in hydrated minerals deep in Earth's mantle. Estimates put the amount of water at some three times the combined volumes of Earth's oceans. Were this volume of water to be on the surface of Earth only the tops of mountains would be dry land.

The high water storage capacity of minerals in Earth’s mantle transition zone (410- to 660-kilometer depth) implies the possibility of a deep H2O reservoir, which could cause dehydration melting of vertically flowing mantle. We examined the effects of downwelling from the transition zone into the lower mantle with high-pressure laboratory experiments, numerical modeling, and seismic P-to-S conversions recorded by a dense seismic array in North America. In experiments, the transition of hydrous ringwoodite to perovskite and (Mg,Fe)O produces intergranular melt. Detections of abrupt decreases in seismic velocity where downwelling mantle is inferred are consistent with partial melt below 660 kilometers. These results suggest hydration of a large region of the transition zone and that dehydration melting may act to trap H2O in the transition zone.

Brandon Schmandt, Steven D. Jacobsen, Thorsten W. Becker, Zhenxian Liu, Kenneth G. Dueker
Dehydration melting at the top of the lower mantle; Science 13 June 2014: Vol. 344 no. 6189 pp. 1265-1268 DOI: 10.1126/science.1253358

The significance of this find is that it suggests the origin of Earth's ocean water was not comets but that they oozed out of the mantle and now exist in an equilibrium with this subterranean reserve. Water is known to be pulled down into Earth's mantle along the subduction zones as plate tectonics pushes one plate down and below another taking the ocean floor sediment with it. Despite this loss, the volume of surface water has remained more or less constant even when sea levels have risen or fallen due to climate change and more or less extensive ice-sheets. The assumption is that this mantle water acts as a buffer.

What's the betting that, if someone hasn't already done so, one or more creationist frauds will be misrepresenting this discovery as the discovery of a vast ocean of liquid water, and proclaiming the craved-for scientific proof of the Noah's flood myth by explaining where all the water came from - the 'fountains of the deep', no less?

Of course it's no such thing. Not only does the paper only establish that there may be this reserve of water in the mantle but there is no sense in which this water could fountain up to vastly increase the volume of the oceans even if it proves to be there. Nor is there sufficient volume to cover Earth to a depth of over 8,800 meters as would have been required to cover the highest hills as the myth claims.

Sorry creationists, but this discovery doesn't rescue your favourite creation myth and save it from a deserved ridicule; it simply increases your difficulty by denying you a possible source for all the water and an explanation of where it all went. The 'vast ocean of water' is not liquid water but water locked up in hydrated minerals. If your creation pseudo-scientists tell you otherwise they are lying to you again.

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  1. Yippie! Do you understand, Rosa, that you with this blog article also has explained not only from where all the water in the the Flood came but ALSO how that same water so suddenly could disappear from the Earth's surface afterwards. I suppose you have heard of the Hollow Earth Theory, so popular among New Age people, UFO believers and other woos.

    And Noah - peace upon His name - was at last able to recuperate from the PTSD he seemingly contracted by trying to appease the (at least) two Tyrannosaurus Rex on board the ark.

  2. I see you and Helmer between you have already mentioned the two things (Flood and Hollow Earth) I was going to talk about.


    Well, not literally.

    1. This was so obviously going to be latched onto with glee by creationist liars that I thought I'd get my retaliation in first. :-)

  3. Because you said that there is enough water in the mantle to be able to cover the highest mountain Everest 8850m, and more 15 cubits above? You've done the calculations? If certain the estimate that there are 3 times more water in the mantle in the oceans, I did the calculations and found that this water is enough yes.

    1. Pauo Sete. You appear to have forgotten to provide any references to where this amount of water locked up up in the mantle was calculated, so how did you know it is three times that in the Oceans? You also forgot to say what volume is in the oceans at present and what volume would be required to cover Mount Everest.

      Perhaps you could rectify those oversights so readers can see you aren't just bearing false witness to them.

      Many thanks.


    2. Well, that should have been easy. Looks like we have another Christian who knows he needs to bare false witness.


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