We may have another “ocean” to add to the world map — only this one is hidden hundreds of miles beneath our planet’s surface.
A new study suggests that a hidden “ocean” is nestled in the Earth’s mantle some 400 miles beneath North America. The hidden reservoir, apparently locked in a blue crystalline mineral called ringwoodite, may hold three times as much water that exists in all the world’s surface oceans.
This discovery may help explain where Earth’s water supply came from, and how subterranean water affects the shifting of rock in the Earth’s outer crust — a phenomenon scientists call plate tectonics.
A paper describing the research was published in the journal Science on June 13, 2014.
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