A study conducted by an international team of researchers, including those from Arizona State University (ASU), revealed that the formation of a new enigmatic layer, known as the E prime layer, at the outermost part of Earth’s core is the result of “surface water penetrating deep into the planet,” altering the composition of the metallic liquid core’s outermost region.
Here Discussed About All Scientific Evidence On “surface water penetrating deep into the planet”:
Earth is made up of four main layers: the outer core, crust, and inner core, which are all encircled by the inner core in the planet’s center.
An ASU researcher stated that for many years it was thought that there was little material exchange between the core and mantle, citing an article that was published in Nature Geoscience. However, the experiments showed that water combines with silicon in the core to generate silica when it reaches the core-mantle boundary.
In what ways did this layer change over time?
According to the most recent studies, surface water has been moved deep within the Earth over billions of years by tectonic plates. When this water hits the core-mantle border, some 1,800 miles below the surface, it undergoes major chemical reactions that affect the structure of the core.
-Yong Jae Lee from Yonsei University in South Korea and scientists at ASU have noticed that at extreme pressure, subducted water undergoes a chemical reaction with core materials.
-A hydrogen-rich, silicon-depleted layer with a structure akin to a film forms at the outer core as a result of this reaction.
-The silica crystals produced by this process rise and mix with the mantle, affecting the composition as a whole.
-These changes in the liquid metallic layer may lead to decreased density and changed seismic properties, which would be consistent with anomalies that seismologists have identified.
How can this research contribute to a deeper understanding of Earth?
The discovery, according to the researchers, improves our understanding of Earth’s internal workings and points to a larger and more complex global water cycle than was previously thought. The core’s altered layer has important ramifications for the interwoven geochemical processes that connect surface water cycles to the metallic deep core.
This work was carried out by a global team of geoscientists using cutting edge experimental techniques at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Lab and PETRA III at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron in Germany. The goal of these methods was to replicate the harsh circumstances seen near the core-mantle barrier.