back to article Boffins find sign of water existing deep into Earth's mantle by looking at diamonds

Water covers most of the Earth’s surface and flows deep beneath it as well. But how deep it travels is unknown. A team of scientists have found evidence that the liquid may exist at depths 400 miles below the crust, and maybe even penetrating within the Earth’s lower mantle. A paper published in Science describes the discovery …

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Pint

Getting closer to Ice-Nine...

"...The boffins detected ice VII..."

Oh noes...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat%27s_Cradle

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Re: Getting closer to Ice-Nine...

Thus the SubjectTitle, John.

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Coat

Nothing in the world can stop me now!

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/DoctorWhoS4E5TheUnderwaterMenace

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Non standard oddball unit "miles"

Tch, come on Reg. If you're not going to use proper length units like kilo-linguini you should at least convert to metric.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Non standard oddball unit "miles"

Shirley - water and depth should be measured in fathoms?

200 miles = 176k fathoms

There is a Google calculator that converts miles to fathoms. It doesn't do barleycorns, rods, poles, links, chains, furlongs, and perches though.

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Trollface

Re: Non standard oddball unit "miles"

What about double decker buses and brontosaurii?

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Re: Non standard oddball unit "miles"

You do realize that the 5,280 foot mile is a purely English invention, right? If you don't believe me, look up the 1593 Weights and Measures Act of Parliament.

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Re: Non standard oddball unit "miles"

Would that be the standard perch or the Irish perch?

One barleycorn = 0.001 690 perch ... or 0.001 328 Irish perch

Source: The imaginatively named onlineconversion.com ...

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Trollface

Re: Non standard oddball unit "miles"

" It doesn't do barleycorns, rods, poles, links, chains, furlongs, and perches though."

There's a red exercise book for that...

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Re: Non standard oddball unit "miles"

According to Jules Verne, water depth should be measured in Leagues.

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Joke

Re: Non standard oddball unit "miles"

"According to Jules Verne, water depth should be measured in Leagues."

Would that be Premier, Europa, or Champions Leagues?

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Re: Non standard oddball unit "miles"

"If you're not going to use proper length units like kilo-linguini you should at least convert to metric."

The paper actually uses metric, El Reg appears to have gone to the effort of converting it all into miles for some reason.

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Re: Non standard oddball unit "miles"

Probably because 90% of El Reg's readers are from either the UK or the US where we measure distances in miles on maps, road network signage, mileage instrumentation in vehicles, and insurance for the same.

Personally if somebody told me the distance to the next town in kilometers i'd be mentally converting it into miles, and i'm sure i'm not the only one.

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FAIL

Re: Jules Verne

The title refers to the distance travelled while under the sea and not to a depth, as 20,000 leagues is over six times the diameter, and nearly twice the circumference of the Earth.

Source

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Non standard oddball unit "miles"

[jake] "the 5,280 foot mile is a purely English invention"

And the language this conversation & article is written in is also a purely English invention.

Complaints about "miles" should be in another language, so they can't be understood. ;-)

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Re: Non standard oddball unit "miles"

It's worth reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea to learn not only that it's about the distance travelled, but also that it's a decent book. Unsurprisingly, they do spend a lot of time talking about fish, and various sequences are nicely tense.

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Re: Non standard oddball unit "miles"

There is a Google calculator that converts miles to fathoms. It doesn't do barleycorns, rods, poles, links, chains, furlongs, and perches though.

Kids these days.

$ units

Currency exchange rates from www.timegenie.com on 2017-02-21

2926 units, 109 prefixes, 88 nonlinear units

You have: 200 miles

You want: fathoms

* 176000

/ 5.6818182e-06

You have: 200 miles

You want: barleycorns

* 38016066

/ 2.6304668e-08

You have: 200 miles

You want: rods

* 64000

/ 1.5625e-05

You have: 200 miles

You want: poles

* 64000.111

/ 1.5624973e-05

You have: 200 miles

You want: links

* 1600000

/ 6.25e-07

You have: 200 miles

You want: chains

* 16000

/ 6.25e-05

You have: 200 miles

You want: furlongs

* 1600

/ 0.000625

You have: 200 miles

You want: perches

* 64000

/ 1.5625e-05

(Hey, Reg, are we ever going to get a fix for the styling of preformatted paragraphs?)

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Re: Non standard oddball unit "miles"

"Complaints about "miles" should be in another language"

Seeing as the pretentious prats doing the complaining about miles[0] primarily seem to prefer to have everything translated into Metric, I propose the only language allowed to be used when complaining about such things here on ElReg be French. Make for an easy wet-ware bozo filter.

"so they can't be understood."

Or easily understood, if not summarily ignored as "noise".

[0] And other units, mostly invented by the English.

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Re: Non standard oddball unit "miles"

"What about double decker buses and brontosaurii?"

I thought the Old-skeleton Scientists renamed those because we non-members-of-their-club kept making jokes and puns about the sisters?

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Re: Non standard oddball unit "miles"

If someone told me the distance to the next town in any unit, I wouldn't care as I'm never going to go there.

Not again.

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> "tiny, microscopic water molecules"

Wait, what? Do water molecules come in different sizes? Are some of them not "microscopic"? I thought all water molecules were pretty much the same size, and actually really quite small.

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Pint

I'm thinking they mean 'water molecules' in very low numbers - rather than grouped together as in, say, a pint ->>

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@scarlet...

Just what I was thinking. Small molecules as opposed to ball-and-stick molecules.

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"Earth's Missing Geothermal Flux" at FauxScienceSlayer

Earth has 800,000 cubic miles of Uranium and 1.2 million cubic miles of Thorium, both fission material. In addition all metallic elements undergo fission per the Bridgeman effect. Fission produces heat and elemental atoms, which are forced into elemental atoms. Groundwater does NOT seep down, it is created below and forced UP.

"Becoming A TOTAL Earth Science Skeptic" at FauxScienceSlayer(.)com

Elitists lie about everything

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Re: "Earth's Missing Geothermal Flux" at FauxScienceSlayer

So everything we know is wrong, and you are our one true path to enlightenment? Thanks for the offer, but I think I'll pass.

Reminds me of an anecdote:"I was at a party and heard some people laughing about the stupid drunk, so I jumped up on the table and looked around to spot who it was ... and everyone but me was drunk!"

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Alert

Re: "Earth's Missing Geothermal Flux" at FauxScienceSlayer

@FauxScienceSlayer

elemental atoms, which are forced into elemental atoms

Don't forget the molten rock condensate!!!

https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/3290041

Virtually ALL of Earth's groundwater is fission produced, either from Hydrogen and Oxygen daughter atoms, forced into molecules under high heat and pressure, or condensed from molten rock.

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190 miles down

Give it a couple of hours and the Creationists will be all over this, proclaiming it as evidence for God's fountains of the deep causing the flooding of the Earth in 40 days and 40 nights. Hallelujah!

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Anonymous Coward

The Flood

"Give it a couple of hours and the Creationists will be all over this, proclaiming it as evidence for God's fountains of the deep causing the flooding of the Earth in 40 days and 40 nights. Hallelujah!"

There's geological evidence of the historical existence of a global flood, as can be witnessed in specific sedimentary layers; that's simple geological fact.

As to what caused such a flooding event, that's obviously open to speculation and various theories.

It would not be an unreasonable theory to propose that the various discoveries in recent years pointing to the presence of large amounts of water deep in the crust or mantle could potentially move upwards in the event of a very significant tectonic or Yellowstone caldera-type of event.

Other theories too, but to poo-poo it 100% out of hand like you have, you're not being scientific, more likely instead that you possess some kind of fundamental belief or opinion.

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Re: The Flood

"There's geological evidence of the historical existence of a global flood, ..."

I don't think the word "global" means what you think it means.

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Re: The Flood

"as can be witnessed in specific sedimentary layers"

Where. Show me, don't tell me. Globally, mind. I'll purchase our travel arrangements ... but you have to reimburse me when you are proven wrong. Deal?

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Re: The Flood

"Flood", Stephen Baxter.

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Isotopes

Possibly stretching the possibilities of science, but it would be nice to know the isotopic signature of the water to see if it is possibly oceanic water dragged down into the Mantle as hydrated minerals in subducting oceanic slabs. It looks increasingly likely that slabs go deep into the Mantle, possibly as far as the Core Mantle boundary before they finally disappear, so they should be taking water with them.

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Re: Isotopes

My thought was subduction, too. I imagine the authors did. Unfortunately, I can't find a preprint.

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Re: Isotopes

"My thought was subduction, too. I imagine the authors did. Unfortunately, I can't find a preprint."

I have access to the paper, although it's far from my field. The authors do mention plate subduction as a source of water in the upper mantle, down to about 410km depth, but say we don't really know much about anything past that. This work seems to be one of only a few trying to figure out how much water is down there at all, while figuring out where it actually came from is presumably a step beyond that which hasn't really been addressed yet. I assume there are theories about it, but this paper suggests there's very little physical evidence so far.

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Re: Isotopes

"while figuring out where it actually came"

Well, if it wasn't here already, as part of the material from which the Earth was formed, then it came from somewhere else. However, if there was no water here already and it did come from somewhere else, then where did it come from, and why was the water there and not here? Furthermore, if there was no water here, and it was all over there, it implies a big difference between here and there, which in turn implies a great distance between here and there, and this would mean there had to be a mechanism for transporting it from there to here. Even furthermore, if the water was transported from there to here, what proportion of the water that was there ended up here? Unless there was a clear reason that the water that was there preferentially ended up here then the water that was there would have been distributed everywhere, so we should expect proportionately as much water from there as ended up here to end up everywhere else.

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Re: Isotopes

It's a vague idea but could this be the basis for a natural-versus-man-made diamond test? Isotopic analysis of the impurities, I mean.

Maybe some bright spark could mention it to de Beers? Just in the interest of keeping stability in the market, of course.

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Speed of ice formation

Is this a real life occurrence of Asimov's "Time Pussy" story in that the ice is formed so quickly that it is still warm?

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Coat

> Boffins find sign of water existing deep into Earth's mantle

Cool, it means we can send settlers there, they could mine that water for drinking, oxygen and fuel.

Oops.

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Headmaster

Using pressure to turn stuff into water.

Last year, I think it was, an article was published in (New Scientist?), in which it was shown using computer modelling, that under huge pressure deep down beneath the earth’s crust, elements/compounds such as silica could be transformed into water.

Finding water in diamonds supports this hypothesis.

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Boffin

"Although the diamonds show water probably exists deep below..."

Erm, no, they don't. What they show is that water probably existed AT THE TIME THE DIAMONDS WERE FORMED. So unless you can prove those diamonds were created in the last few hundred years (or less), we still don't know the CURRENT water status "deep below".

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