Bubbling under the underground ecosystem, the world's oldest water that was re-discovered bares new information which can help us understand how microbial life thrives in these supposedly uninhabitable depths at a potentially undiscovered areas of our planet.
The discovery of the ancient water in Canada in 2.4 kilometers or 1.5 miles in an underground tunnel mine in 2013 made scientists re-visit the same area so they could explore further. The mine still goes further down at 3.1 kilometers or 1.9 miles.
Ancient water discovery in 2013, Ontario Canada, Barbara Sherwood Lollar et al.
Indeed the recent discovery of a new source of the ancient water was found at 3 kilometers.
"When people think about this water they assume it must be some tiny amount of water trapped within the rock," said Barbara Sherwood Lollar, a geochemist from the University of Toronto.
"But in fact it's very much bubbling right up out at you. These things are flowing at rates of litres per minute – the volume of the water is much larger than anyone anticipated," she added.
What's remarkable about how the water has been flowing underneath the rocks beats the norm of how groundwater should be flowing.
Groundwater should be only be flowing at around 1 meter per year but this ancient water was found to have been bubbling at 2 liters per minute! Thanks to the boreholes drilled in the mine.
To add to the unique evolution of this water, it has been discovered that this ancient water's sulfate content did not just flow from the surface down underground but it was a result of a chemical reaction between the water and the rock.
The gases helium, neon, argon, and xenon found to be dissolved in the water source allowed the experts to date the water back to 2 billion years old and the oldest water on Earth at that.
The scientists reported their findings in American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco.
The researchers have not found any signs of microbial life in the water
yet since they still have more research to follow after this one.
"Any life we might find in those isolated waters is the same or different from other microbial life found for instance at the hydrothermal vents on the ocean floors," Lollar explained.
See: 3800-Year Old Ancient Underwater Garden Discovered in Canada!