Deep Water

4 Feb 2017

At ... we have one of the more exciting science findings in recent years. Earth's water may have originally been formed 'deep within it's mantle' according to research led by University College in Dublin (in association with the University of Saskatchewan in Canada). This change of tack has come about as it is now fairly unlikely earth's water arrived on comets. They just do not appear to conform to the dirty snowball prototype so beloved of consensus science in the past. Dirty snowballs are still rigorously defended by the old guard - but a new paradigm is about to swallow them up.

Computer simulation is once again involved - which means a bit of caution might be necessary. Basically, they have found that reactions between high pressure and high temperature fluid hydrogen and silicon dioxide in quartz can from liquid water under the right conditions. In other words, water is derived from rocks in the Mantle - suitably over hot and under pressure. It is already known that vast reservoirs of water exist below the surface of the earth. Can water seep out of deep sea vents?

Silica is found in abundance above and below the surface of the earth - in the form of the mineral quartz. The earth's crust is  59 per cent silica and silica is a major component of sand - and of flint and chert (among other things). Where did all that sand come from?

Where is all this taking us? Well. to begin with, they had expected water to form on the surface of silica - but instead they were surprised to find that water remained trapped inside the silica leading to a massive build up of pressure. They now think that release of the pressure might be responsible for triggering earthquakes hundreds of kilometres below the surface of the earth. The new findings clearly support the same reaction, between silicon dioxide and liquid hydrogen arrived at by Japanese scientists back in 2014. The researchers go on to say 'this is very exciting ...' and indeed it is. It may even provide a mechanism for the expanding earth model - but shush (don't get carried away).

The same story has now popped up at ... which is taken directly from the Phys Org piece. However, the first comment below the story says, I wonder if this accounts for all the sand on the earth? I can remember reading Malaga Bay a long time ago when he claimed that sand in the form of very wet quicksand was released from the interior of the earth at specific hot spots (on of which was in the western Sahara). Unfortunately, he visualised this in league with fairly recent events. In contrast, we might think about how many geological boundaries coincide with sandstone formations. Are extrusions of sand a possibility in the wake of certain catastrophic events - and the same may apply to water. The next question, probably one too far at the moment, is related to expansion. Did water expand over the earth (there must have been water of a kind at the surface or near the surface even during Pangea) on to an already established sea floor or did the two arrive in conjunction with each other?