Water present on the Earth’s surface makes its way to the core of our planet. New research, published by Nature Geoscience and reported by ScienceAlert, demonstrates how water could alter the outer layer of the Earth’s core. This could finally explain the presence of a thin layer of material, which has intrigued geologists for many years.
The planet is composed as follows: the core, covered by the earth’s mantle, itself lined by the earth’s crust. The latter is made up of tectonic plates that move and slide under each other. Over the centuries, these movements carried water into the mantle. “When this water reaches the boundary between the core and the mantle, some 2,900 kilometers below the surface, it triggers a powerful chemical interaction”says ScienceAlert.
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A part of mystery
This chemical exchange between the core and the mantle may have contributed to the formation of a new layer, a few hundred kilometers thick, called “E prime”. It would be less dense and slower than the others, which we know thanks to observations of seismic waves carried out by scientists.
This layer of the core could have an impact on the water cycle at depth. The team even says that their results suggest a more complex overall cycle than they thought. Research must still continue.
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