Biosphere Below

4 Apr 2021

Sent in by Robert [withg a hat tip to Louis]. At ... scientists discover a massive biosphere miles below eath's surface. It has long been thought that organisms, such as bacteria, living in the soil, made up a quarter of all life on earth. In a new study, 'the deep carbon observatory', suggest up to 70 per cent of bacteria, and archaea [single cell micro-organisms] live  beneath our feet. Although many micro organisms live near the surface, others live deep within the earth, miles down. The biosphere has until recently been untouched by human interference. Fracking has changed that.

At ... experts debate how the continents formed. The idea that subduction causes oceanic water to enter the Mantle is under fire, it would seem - but not recently. In the past. The remote past. Water already exists deep within the planet. This means that even premordial earth may have not been quite as mainstream envisage. As the earth is believed to have once been molten rock the first continents began to form, it is suggested, were composed of a pale coloured granite. To make granitic rock continental crust capable of fluidity it must first have had to have melted. Basalt would have covered the entirety of the earth's surface when it emerged from its primordial condition. However, to make earth's crust from basalt requires water. Hence, water was at depth in order to create continental crust. Or that is the reasoning of the researchers. Australian rocks were part of the research, hence the input of Louis who lives in Australia and is a mining geologist. Scientists at the Geological Survey of Western Australia, and Curtin University, were involved.

The final section at the link says the basic test of uniformitarianism is that processes that impacted earth in the distant past are the same as these observed today. Subduction is now one of the most important components of modern geology. Did it take place in the past? The researchers say that geology differed back then. Several lines of evidence seem to be inconsistent with subduction and plate tectonics - on early earth. Our planet seems to have behaved differently in the remote past. In other words, the past may no longer be invoked to describe the geology of today. Another critic might simply say this means that plate tectonics, and the process of subduction, not only did not occur in the remoter past - but possibly not even in the present.