A mysterious phenomenon is changing the Earth’s core. Here’s how.
A mysterious phenomenon is changing the Earth’s core. Here’s how
The recent research delves into the intricate relationship between Earth’s surface water and the outermost layer of its metallic liquid core. According to a report from this study, water transported through tectonic plate subduction zones over billions of years reaches the lower mantle, instigating a significant chemical reaction upon reaching the core-mantle boundary, situated 2,900 kilometres beneath the surface.
Challenging Conventional Wisdom
The study challenges conventional wisdom, indicating that material exchange between the core and mantle is more dynamic than previously assumed. The findings reveal a more extensive material exchange between the core and mantle, contrary to prior beliefs.
The Mystery of ‘E Prime’ Layer
The study proposes that prolonged chemical exchanges between the core and mantle contribute to the formation of the elusive ‘E prime’ layer, a phenomenon identified but unexplained at the core-mantle boundary. Laser-heated diamond-anvil cells were employed to simulate the rigorous conditions at the core-mantle boundary, demonstrating that subducted water undergoes a transformative chemical reaction with core materials, morphing the outer core into a hydrogen-rich film and dispersing silica crystals to the mantle.
The altered core film results in a less dense and slower seismic speed layer at the core’s apex, aligning with seismic wave observations. This revelation challenges preconceived notions and deepens our comprehension of Earth’s…
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