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Ringwoodite - A Rare Mineral which Revealed the presence of vast Ocean beneath Earth's surface

Ocean beneath the Earth



Ocean beneath the Earth
An Extremely Rare gemstone had been found and the chemicals that formed it made Researchers to believe that Oceans might exist hundreds of miles beneath the Earth like shown in the Journey to the Center of the Earth movie.

Ringwoodite - a Rare Gemstone



Ringwoodite - a Rare Gemstone
That Rare Gemstone has been named Ringwoodite. It is formed when Olivine, a common material that is available in the Mantle, is highly pressurized. When it is exposed to the low pressurized environments, it reverts into Olivine.

Sample in our Earth's Mantle



Sample in our Earth's Mantle
They have been previously seen in the meteorite and they were also made up in the Laboratory, until now, where they have found the samples of it in the Earth's mantle.

Graham Pearson



Graham Pearson
Graham Pearson, a Diamond Expert from the University of Alberta once came across a piece of Brown Diamond in Mato Grosso, Brazil, which was about 3 millimeter, but was worthless, while he was researching for another type of mineral.

Trapped Water



Trapped Water
Within that diamond, Pearson and his team found Ringwoodite and they found that roughly 1.5 percent of the Ringwoodite’s weight was made up of trapped water.

Plenty of Water



Plenty of Water
That water had to get in there somehow, and using analyses of its depth and its water makeup, Pearson suggests that there's water deep beneath the Earth's surface, a lot of it.

Hans Keppler



Hans Keppler
The finding “confirms predictions from high-pressure laboratory experiments that a water reservoir comparable in size to all the oceans combined is hidden deep in Earth’s mantle,” according to an analysis of Pearson’s findings by Hans Keppler of the University of Bayreuth in Germany.

Between 410 to 660km



Between 410 to 660km
The Earth’s crust, including the deepest parts of the oceans, reaches depths of roughly 100 kilometers. From there, the upper mantle takes up about another 300 kilometers. Between there and the lower mantle is where this piece of Ringwoodite was originally from - an area between 410 and 660 kilometers beneath the Earth’s surface known as the “transition zone.”

With Water or Completely Dry



With Water or Completely Dry
Scientists have divided the transition zone to know what exactly is in there. We’ve known that the upper mantle is mostly made up of eleven, and, as Keppler said, scientists have long thought that the Earth contained reservoirs of water deep beneath the crust. But they weren’t sure whether the water existed as low as the transition zone - the area between the upper and lower mantles. While some say that much of the ocean water may have originated there and others say that it is completely dry in there.

Possible Explanation



Possible Explanation
Pearson’s finding changes that as he wrote in a paper that there are two possible explanations for water within the Ringwoodite.

Creation of Water



Creation of Water
Firstly, "the water within the Ringwoodite reflects inheritance from a hydrous, diamond-forming fluid, from which the inclusion grew as a syngenetic phase. In this model, the hydrous fluid must originate locally, from the transition zone, because there is no evidence that the lower mantle contains a significant amount of water,” he wrote. Essentially, the extreme pressure and chemical makeup at those depths spontaneously creates water.

Present before Encapsulation



Present before Encapsulation
“Alternatively, the ringwoodite is ‘protogenetic,’ that is, it was present before encapsulation by the diamond and its water content reflects that of the ambient transition zone," Pearson wrote. In this model, the water and the ringwoodite are already there, and the ringwoodite absorbs some of the water. Either way you slice it, there is a lot of water in the transition zone: “Both models implicate a transition zone that is at least locally water-rich,” he wrote.

How did it make it?



How did it make it?
So as we talk about the Transition Zone and the Ringwoodite that is located at least 410 miles beneath the Earth's surface, how did it make it up to a riverbed in Brazil?

Because of Volcanic Eruption



Because of Volcanic Eruption
According to Keppler and the fact that Pearson was looking for volcanic rocks, suggests that something, probably a volcanic eruption, quickly pushed it up to the surface. It was just a coincidence that Pearson was able to analyze it before the Ringwoodite turned back into its non pressurized form. “It was a piece of luck, this discovery, as are many scientific discoveries,” Pearson said.
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