More Water is Drawn to the Bottom of the Earth Than Thought

The world is pulling down the water we don’t know where it’s going further than we thought.

According to seismic studies conducted in the Mariana Trench, the slow tectonic collisions under the ocean draw 3 times more water to the bottom of the earth than thought.

In their observations of the ocean’s deepest troughs, the researchers found that withdrawals have a significant impact on the global water cycle.

“It is known that the water is drawn to the bottom of the earth, but it is not known how much water is drawn to the bottom,” said Chen Cai of Washington University, St. Louis, the lead author of the article published in Nature Magazine.

Candace Major, program director of the National Science Foundation, said, “These studies show that in tectonic stratified subdivisions that are miles deeper than the surface, much more water is drawn towards the bottom of the earth than was thought. said.

Professor Douglas A. Weins, who advised Cai on this study, said: “The results show the importance of plate subduction regions on the earth’s water cycle. The difference between estimates and the amount of water actually lost is much greater, and it goes deeper than 96.5 km. The presence of the first water layer on the top crust is the main source of uncertainty in these calculations. ” said .

Under the Sea

Using the ocean-based seismograph network deployed on 7 islands across the Mariana Trench, the study’s directors listened to the sounds – ambient and earthquake noises – occurring at the bottom of the earth for more than a year.

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The pit is where the Western Pacific Ocean plate slides under the Mariana plate and the plates slowly merge, where they are gradually buried deep within the earth’s crust.

With new seismic observations, the analysis of the three-dimensional structure of the Pacific plate, which bends towards the folds in the pit, is analyzed, the rate of water retention of different rock types is analyzed, and a picture of finer details is tried to be revealed.

Rocks can absorb and hold water in many different ways. Ocean waters are drawn and trapped below the earth’s crust above the mantle, which özgü fault lines and where the plates collide. A certain temperature and pressure forces the water into a chemical reaction, and the water comes out of its liquid biçim and is squeezed into the rocks in the geological plate as aqueous minerals.

All the while, as the plates continue to slowly move towards the mantle, it pulls water down with them.

In previous studies, it was determined that plates such as the Mariana Trench could hold water in the subduction areas, but it was not determined how much was retained and how much was drawn into the earth.

Cai pointed to a kind of seismic study by creating underground rock conditions on an ocean research vessel, creating sound waves with an air gun, “The trend in previous studies was based on active welding work in the upper layer at 5 – 6 km depths of plates. ” says .

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“It was not certain about the depth of the water and how much water was tüm ortaklık. We’ve tried to delineate this with our work, that if the water penetrates the depths of the plate, it can stay there or even go deeper. ” says Cai.

Seismic studies have revealed that the ‘watery rocks’ in the Marina Trench stretch for 32 km below the sea floor and are much deeper than thought.

Who goes underground must go up

The amount of water drawn underground from the Mariana Trench alone is four times more than previously calculated. Researchers can also take into account these features to predict conditions under other ocean troughs around the world.

“If the old, cooled plate subduction zones contain watery layers of similar thickness, the global water flow at the depths of the earth is 96.5 km greater than we predicted, which means that water is being drawn into the ground 3 times more than our estimate,” Wiens said.

The water in the world özgü to go out somehow. Sea levels remained relatively constant at around 304.8 m according to geological time. This means that the water entering the underground areas from the earth should not be constantly underground, but coming back above the ground somehow.

Scientists believe that the waters that go to the depths of the earth are mixed into the atmosphere as steam with volcanic eruptions.

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However, according to the estimation of a revised study, the amount of water entering the world greatly exceeds the amount of water released.

“Estimates of the amount of water released by volcanic vapors are probably very uncertain,” says Wiens. He also hopes that this study will encourage other researchers to investigate how the water that goes underground comes to the surface and will cause them to re-evaluate their research based on this information.

“Assessing large-scale, long-term tectonics significantly contributes to the global water circulation, which is difficult to measure precisely,” said Weisen Shen, Deputy Professor of Stony Brook University and geoscience scientist. said.


Wiens, along with a team of other scientists, moved beyond the Mariana trench and installed a similar seismic network in Alaska to study how water flowed underground.

“Does the amount of water descending drastically vary from one submergence zone to another, depending on the type of faults in the region during the bending of the plates? There are some suggestions that this is the case in Alaska and Central America. But no one özgü studied other deep ocean trenches like we’ve explored the Mariana Trench before. ” says.



Translation: İbrahim Özkaraca

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