Scientists plan to drill into the Earth’s mantle for the first time!
We’d know a lot more about what’s under the Earth’s crust if Jules Verne’s Icelandic volcano weren’t but a figment of his imagination. Japan’s Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology’s (JAMSTEC) largest drilling ship called “Chikyu” is very real, though, and a group of international researchers plan to use it to drill into the Earth’s mantle for the first time.
The JAMSTEC-led team will conduct a two-week preliminary study in the waters off Hawaii this September to determine if that’s where their Chikyu should drill. If the location doesn’t work, they’ll look at their other choices in the waters off Costa Rica and off Mexico. All three are in the ocean because the continental crust is twice as thick as the oceanic crust.
Chikyu’s drill will have to go through 2.5 miles of water and 3.7 miles of crust to be able to reach the mantle, which makes up roughly 84 percent of our planet’s volume. It’s a silicate rocky shell that flows slowly and affects volcanic activity, as well as the motion of tectonic plates that causes earthquakes. The Japanese government is providing partial funding for the project in hopes that it will lead to better ways predict the surface phenomena. As you might know, the country was rocked by some particularly strong ones in recent years.
The researchers also want to investigate the boundary between the oceanic crust and the mantle to figure out how the crust formed. Plus, they want to see if microbial life exists that deep inside the planet. The scientists hope to begin drilling by 2030 at the latest. For now, they need to find the perfect location and figure out where to get the $542 million funding the project needs.
(CNN)Humans have been to the moon and explored almost every corner of the planet — but there’s one place they have never been.
An international group of scientists say they plan to be the first group to drill successfully into the Earth’s mantle, the planet’s interior, which lies just beneath the outer crust.
Researchers at Japan’s Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology told CNN they are hoping to discover more about how our planet was formed and what the mantle is composed of. Japanese media first reported on the project last week.
The mantle makes up more than 80% of the Earth’s mass, lying 6 miles (10 kilometers) beneath the ocean floor.
Peridotite is a rock that’s believed to make up the Earth’s mantle.
The Japanese government, which is helping fund the expedition, hopes the research could help discover ways to better predict earthquakes, Abe said.
“In Japan we have some volcanoes, earthquakes and such kind of natural hazards. People (want to create) some monitoring or analysis equipment, but we don’t know … what kind of factor to use,” Abe said.
“So we need to know the natural system more clearly or precisely. … We have to observe the Earth more precisely.”
3 drilling sites considered
Three drilling sites are under consideration, Abe said, all of them in the Pacific Ocean.
“One is off Hawaii — we’re going to survey there — another one is off Costa Rica, (and) the last one is off Mexico,” she said.
To access the mantle, the agency wants to use one of the most advanced drilling vessels currently available, the Chikyu.
“It’s the biggest drilling ship of our science area, so the drilling capability is three times longer, or deeper, than the previous (vessels),” Abe said.
Japan’s deep-sea drilling vessel, Chikyu, is anchored at a pier in Shimizu in 2013.
The researcher said the Chikyu’s drill will drop down through almost 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) of ocean before reaching the ocean floor.
It then will bore through 3.7 miles (6 kilometers) of the seafloor, or the planet’s crust, before it reaches the mantle.
“We already drilled and have taken some samples from the ocean floor but (only) from the top,” Abe said. “(We want) to dig from the ocean floor to the deep pristine mantle.”
Drilling will start by 2030 at the latest, according to Abe.
The project has four primary objectives, only the first of which is to access the planet’s mantle by drilling through the seafloor.
“The second aim is we want to investigate the boundary between the oceanic crust and the mantle,” Abe said. “The third one is we want to know how the oceanic crust formed.”
The final objective is to examine how deep microbial life exists inside the planet. “(What is) the limit of the life inside the Earth?” Abe said.
Before any drilling can begin, there’s more research that needs to be done to build the right technology, Abe said, but she was convinced the project was feasible.
“If we dig into the mantle, we will know the whole Earth history, that’s our motivation to search,” she said.
Scott C'one has been on the case of Planet X since his early college years dating back to 1990. His discoveries in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 have become groundbreaking evidence of the existence of stellar bodies that have been captured by the Sun. He has also produced over 2000 videos detailing and exposing this evidence and his videos are available on his Youtube Channel Planet X News. Scott C'one leads the way in Planet X Research and his investigation has lead to exposing The Biggest Cover-Up in World History.