While we generally think of water in nature as a cool liquid that we can see -- streams, lakes, oceans -- there is a great deal of “hot fluid” activity taking place far out of sight, deep within the earth, that influences what ultimately takes place on the surface, including the amount of rainfall and the buildup of new land mass.
Illustration shows the layers of the earths subsurface.
What exactly is the nature of that hidden fluid deep beneath the surface and what changes does it undergo as it seeks an ever-deeper venue?
Answer to these questions can be found in article in a recent issue of the journal Nature by Dr. Ronit Kessel of the Hebrew University’s Institute of Earth Sciences and her collaborators Prof. Max Schmidt, Prof. Peter Ulmer and Dr. Thomas Pettke from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich. In the article, the researchers report on a unique study in which fluids released from submerging earth plates at depths of 120-180 kilometers and temperatures between 700 and 1200 degrees centigrade are characterized for the first time.
Jerry Barach | alfa
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