Is there an ocean beneath our feet?

January 30, 2014 GEOLOGY - Scientists at the University of Liverpool have shown that deep sea fault zones could transport much larger amounts of water from the Earth’s oceans to the upper mantle than previously thought. Water is carried mantle by deep sea fault zones which penetrate the oceanic plate as it bends into the subduction zone. Subduction, where an oceanic tectonic plate is forced beneath another plate, causes large earthquakes such as the recent Tohoku earthquake, as well as many earthquakes that occur hundreds of kilometers below the Earth’s surface. Seismologists at Liverpool have estimated that over the age of the Earth, the Japan subduction zone alone could transport the equivalent of up to three and a half times the water of all the Earth’s oceans to its mantle. Using seismic modeling techniques the researchers analyzed earthquakes which occurred more than 100 km below the Earth’s surface in the Wadati-Benioff zone, a plane of Earthquakes that occur in the oceanic plate as it sinks deep into the mantle. Analysis of the seismic waves from these earthquakes shows that they occurred on 1 – 2 km wide fault zones with low seismic velocities. Seismic waves travel slower in these fault zones than in the rest of the subducting plate because the sea water that percolated through the faults reacted with the oceanic rocks to form serpentinite – a mineral that contains water.
Some of the water carried to the mantle by these hydrated fault zones is released as the tectonic plate heats up. This water causes the mantle material to melt, causing volcanoes above the subduction zone such as those that form the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire.’ Some water is transported deeper into the mantle, and is stored in the deep Earth. “It has been known for a long time that subducting plates carry oceanic water to the mantle,” said Tom Garth, a PhD student in the Earthquake Seismology research group led by Professor Andreas Rietbrock. “This water causes melting in the mantle, which leads to arc releasing some of the water back into the atmosphere. Part of the subducted water however is carried deeper into the mantle and may be stored there. We found that fault zones that form in the deep oceanic trench offshore Northern Japan persist to depths of up to 150 km. These hydrated fault zones can carry large amounts of water, suggesting that subduction zones carry much more water from the ocean down to the mantle than has previously been suggested. “This supports the theory that there are large amounts of water stored deep in the Earth.” Understanding how much water is delivered to the mantle contributes to knowledge of how the mantle convects, and how it melts, which helps to understand how plate tectonics began, and how the continental crust was formed. –SD
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This entry was posted in Disappearing Lakes, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, High-risk potential hazard zone, Land fissures, cracks, sinkholes, Lithosphere collapse & fisssure, Prophecies referenced, Seismic tremors, Tectonic plate movement, Time - Event Acceleration. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Is there an ocean beneath our feet?

  1. Lynn says:

    Genesis 7:11 “fountains of the great deep” confirmed

  2. MarkJS says:

    huh… Interesting.

  3. Mike says:

    And how much of the water radiated by Fukushima is getting store into the fault?

  4. The presence of large quantities of water deep within the Earth could explain prehistoric periods of massive volcanism (Siberia, India) as great boluses of superheated steam and charged magma arose simultaneously and explosively to the surface across entire subcontinents . The catastrophic rise or fall of ocean levels by hundreds of feet could be not only explained as to its occurrence in the past, but projected to recur sooner or later in the future. Global tectonic movements could be accelerated or decelerated in function with the subsurface activity of water masses, local infusions of which could detonate supervolcanos. Basically, subterranean water could be considered one of two compounds (the other being magma) of a binary explosive, and expected to react accordingly. Things would be relatively quiet as long as the water were buried deep in the magma, but get more and more active as greater quantities of it arose to the surface. Just a guess…

  5. Carol Vincent says:

    Genesis 1:6-9: And God said “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the water. And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were above the expanse and it was so. ……and God said let the waters under the heaven be gathered together in one place and let the dry land appear….and it was so. Genesis 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life of the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of heaven were opened.”
    So it seems that waters under the earth is not such a new idea after all. Your post relating to this is very exciting, indeed. Thanks, Alvin.

  6. Joseph Sonny Skies says:

    I guess the Talking Heads had it right in their song all along!

  7. ncmissouri says:

    The Juan de Fuca plate has been noted to absorb huge quantities of water.
    There is an article titled: “Anti-plume’ Found Off Pacific Coast”
    Date: July 15, 2004
    Source: Oregon State University
    Summary: A North American team of scientists has documented for the first time a new phenomenon — the creation of a void in the seafloor that draws in — rather than expels — surrounding seawater.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040715075917.htm

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