Saturday, June 28, 2008

Vast Reservoir of Water Found Underneath Asia

There is something new for geologists to ponder on and it's been called the Beijing anomaly. It's a really vast deposit of water underneath much of China and other parts of the main landmass of Asia.

The discovery is said to be the first for a very large body of water near the Earth's mantle---which definitely conjures up images of Brendan Fraser floating on a raft in a sea underneath the Earth's crust (Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D)---but this is real, not a movie.

The discovery was made by seismologist Michael Wysession of Washington University in St. Louis and former graduate student Jesse Lawrence, who had been analyzing seismic records from China. The area was of particular interest due to it's seismic activity. The two studied 600,000 seismograms from instruments all over the world.

Their findings reveal that much of Asia, particularly the earth underneath Beijing---hence the name of the anomaly--- had a dampening effect on seismic waves. Wysession said that lots of dampening and a little slowing match the predictions for water.

It has been theorized that if a part of the ocean's floor sinks towards the mantle, it would take water down with it, which heats up the deeper it goes, until the rock deteriorates and loses the water.

Wysession explains how the water rises up into the overlying region, which becomes saturated with water. “You would have to put it in the lab to find the water in it.” Wysession estimates that 0.1 percent of the rock that sinks under China is water. The diagram on top shows the rock where much of the water is (red and yellow). The photos on the left are stills from Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D, where Brendan Fraser encounters lots of water and sails in an ocean deep inside the Earth.

While Wysession doesn't mention anything about an underground ocean, there are those who believe that the Earth is hollow.

Join Brendan Fraser in Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D.

Save gas! Convert your car to burn water.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Red Planet Hot for Water Find

Decades ago, some of you may have watched a Sesame Street cartoon where a man in the desert says Agua! Agua! as he looks for water. Well, it's been like that for Mars scientists for years. They've been looking for water in the Martian desert but couldn't find it. But, now that they have the Phoenix Mars Lander in the Martian arctic plain, they have the tools needed to see if there really is water on the red planet.

When the news on ice sublimating from the trough made in the Martian soil came out, people hoped for the best. Firstly, that it was water ice. Water on Mars would answer a lot of mysteries, like landscape features thought to have been made by water action in the past. Now that the NASA has just announced that the robot is about to deliver Martian soil to its wet chemistry laboratory, scientists and laymen alike have their fingers crossed. Another major thing scientists hope to find is organic matter, which will up hopes in finding microbial life on Mars.

Click here for a video on the Phoenix Lander.