Journey to the Center of the Earth

stubeeef

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 10, 2004
2,702
2
Link

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Scientist said this week they had drilled into the lower section of Earth's crust for the first time and were poised to break through to the mantle in coming years.

The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) seeks the elusive "Moho," a boundary formally known as the Mohorovicic discontinuity. It marks the division between Earth's brittle outer crust and the hotter, softer mantle.

The depth of the Moho varies. This latest effort, which drilled 4,644 feet (1,416 meters) below the ocean seafloor, appears to have been 1,000 feet off to the side of where it needed to be to pierce the Moho, according to one reading of seismic data used to map the crust's varying thickness.
Pretty cool.
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,568
0
A very interesting read. I look forward to hearing the results of this research of drilling into the mantle.
 
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Mr. Durden

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2005
716
0
Colorado
Doesnt this sound a little dangerous? Poking a hole into molten lava (or whatever) in the middle of the ocean. Seems like a prime candidate for some sort of explosion. Or ocean evaporation, or core cooling or something.
 
Comment

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,168
354
The Cool Part of CA, USA
Mr. Durden said:
Doesnt this sound a little dangerous? Poking a hole into molten lava (or whatever) in the middle of the ocean. Seems like a prime candidate for some sort of explosion. Or ocean evaporation, or core cooling or something.
Hardly. There are holes all over the earth--they're called volcanoes, and although they can be destructive, many ooze for decades or centuries (or much, much longer, as with the entier Hawaiian island chain) without causing any kind of major destruction. And, those holes (really huge bulges in this molten core underground) are thousands of times larger than this pinprick.

Anything that did happen would cool so quickly that it'd probably be unnoticable to anything but the drill itself. We're talking a hole a few inches across on a planet thousands of miles in diameter and a crust a mile thick--that's like a mosquito bite on an elephant.
 
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srobert

macrumors 68020
Jan 7, 2002
2,062
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Hey! Cool new place to dump our trash don't you think! Just lime sweeping it under the rug. :D
 
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PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,239
4
srobert said:
Hey! Cool new place to dump our trash don't you think! Just lime sweeping it under the rug. :D
that made me laugh, and i wonder if it would come to that too


this is cool anyways, but i wonder what good will come of it if anything?
 
Comment

MongoTheGeek

macrumors 68040
srobert said:
Hey! Cool new place to dump our trash don't you think! Just lime sweeping it under the rug. :D
There have been suggestions of that. Nuclear waste especially. Drop it under the crust or make sure it gets subducted into a deep sea trench and you won't see hide or hair of it for 100,000 years. At which point it bubbles up incredibly diluted and with all of the nasty stuff no longer radioactive.
 
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Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,561
0
VA
MongoTheGeek said:
There have been suggestions of that. Nuclear waste especially. Drop it under the crust or make sure it gets subducted into a deep sea trench and you won't see hide or hair of it for 100,000 years. At which point it bubbles up incredibly diluted and with all of the nasty stuff no longer radioactive.
Depends on what you're dumping.....100,000 years might not even be the half life of some isotopes...

It is pretty cool, and I'd love to know the temperatures they're going to have to deal with when they get to the barrier.

D
 
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emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
srobert said:
Hey! Cool new place to dump our trash don't you think! Just lime sweeping it under the rug. :D
LOL. You think your garbage bills are high now? :p
 
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