Scientists Discover Massive Ocean Near Earth's Core

An international study shows that scientists have found a reservoir of water under the surface of the Earth that is three times the size of all the oceans.

The water was discovered in the region that serves as a transition between the upper and lower mantles of the earth.

The research team used Raman spectroscopy and FTIR spectrometry to look at how fast a diamond formed 660 metres below the Earth's surface.

Ocean water accompanies subducting slabs and penetrates the transition zone, as the investigation confirmed. Our planet's water cycle encompasses the interior.

These mineral changes make it hard for mantle rocks to move, explains Prof. Frank Brenker of Goethe University in Frankfurt.

No one knew how "sucking" material into the transition zone would affect its geochemical makeup or water content until today.

Deep-sea sediments are also carried into the centre of the Earth by the slabs that are subducting. Large amounts of water and CO2 can be stored in these sediments.

It was unknown how much enters the transition zone as hydrous minerals and carbonates, and whether large amounts of water are held there.

Conditions are favorable. The dense minerals wadsleyite and ringwoodite can (unlike the olivine at lesser depths) store large quantities of water

In theory, the transition zone might take in water at a rate that is six times higher than the rate at which our seas can do so.

So, Brenker says, "we knew that the boundary layer has a huge capacity to store water." "But we didn't know if that was really the case."