Discovered “Sixth Ocean” On Earth Possesses 3 Times The Volume Of All Oceans Combined?

Date of publication: 2/20/2023

Discovered “Sixth Ocean” On Earth Possesses 3 Times The Volume Of All Oceans Combined?

Scientists have found a "sixth ocean" on Earth, but it's not on the planet's surface.

There are 5 oceans on the Earth’s surface: the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, and the Southern Ocean. An international team of scientists has now found evidence of significant amounts of water between the Earth’s upper and lower mantle.

According to an international study, scientists have discovered a body of water three times the volume of all the oceans on Earth’s surface combined. However, instead of remaining on the planet’s surface, this water was found between the transition zones of the upper and lower mantle of the Earth.


Evidence indicates that water is in the transition zone (TZ), the boundary layer that separates the Earth’s upper mantle from the Earth’s lower mantle. This boundary lies at depths between 410 and 660 km, where extreme pressures of up to 23,000 bar cause the olive-green mineral olivine to alter its crystal structure.

The study confirmed something that for a long time was only a theory, that ocean water accompanies the extra rocks and thus enters the transition zone. This means that the water cycle on our planet includes the interior of the Earth.

The transition zone between the upper (brown) and lower (orange) mantle of the Earth is thought to contain a significant amount of water, bound in rock. Photo: Worldatlas

Professor Frank Brenker from the Institute of Geosciences at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany explains: “These mineral transformations greatly impede rock movement in the mantle. For example, mantle plumes – are the rise of an unusually hot mass of rock within the mantle – sometimes stopping just below the transition zone The movement of mass in the opposite direction also comes to a standstill. importance of subduction zones) often have difficulty disrupting the entire transition zone. So there’s a whole graveyard of such subslates in this area below Europe.”

However, until now it was not known what the long-term effects of “sucking” material into the transition zone on its geochemical composition and whether larger amounts of water would exist there.

Prof Brenker explained: “The subsoil also carries marine sediments deep into the Earth. These sediments can contain large amounts of water and large amounts of CO2. But until now it was not clear how much went. into the transition zone in a more stable form, hydrated minerals and carbonates – and so it is not clear whether large amounts of water are actually stored there.

The current conditions would certainly favor that. The dense wadsleyite and ringwoodite minerals can (unlike olivine at lower depths) store large amounts of water – so large in fact that the transition zone could theoretically absorb six times as much water. amount of water in all of our oceans.

“So we know that the transition zone (TZ) has a very large capacity to store water. However, we don’t know if it actually does so,” said Prof Brenker.


Evidence of a ‘sixth ocean’ was found during the analysis of a rare diamond that formed 660 km above the Earth’s surface.

After studying a rare diamond, found in Botswana, Africa – this diamond formed at a depth of 660 km, right between the transition zone (TZ) and the lower mantle of the Earth, where ringwoodite is common minerals – scientists have found large amounts of ringwoodite – with a high water content – around the diamond.

Diamonds from this region are rare, even among the rarer diamonds of super deep origin, making up only 1% of diamonds. Furthermore, the team was able to determine the chemical composition of the rare diamond. It is almost identical to every fragment of mantle rock found in basalt anywhere in the world. This shows that the diamond definitely came from the Earth’s mantle.

Professor Frank Brenker from the Institute of Geosciences at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo: MARCUS KAUFHOLD / FAZ

“The impurities in the 1.5 cm diamond are large enough to allow precise chemical composition determination. In this study, we demonstrated that the transition region is not a dry sponge, but rather a dry sponge. This also brings us one step closer to the idea of French writer Jules Verne [author of two famous works “Journey to the center of the Earth” (1864), “Twenty thousand miles under the sea” (1870)] about an ocean inside the Earth. The difference is that there is no liquid ocean down there, but hydrated rock “- Professor Brenker shared.

The team explains that the high water content of the transition zone has far-reaching consequences for the dynamics of the Earth’s interior, and if it breaks down, it could lead to mass motions in the crust.

The study by the German-Italian-American team, published in the journal Nature, states that the Earth’s internal structure and dynamics are shaped by the 660 km boundary between the upper mantle transition region and the Earth’s interior. and bottom cover.

Author: admin

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