The Earth is made up of almost water, and a small portion of land. There's so much liquid surrounding us that seems infinite. Yet, do any of us know where all the water came from?
Apparently, there are different speculations regarding the origin of the Earth's water. One theory says that our planet's water came from icy comets that landed the Earth after it was formed.
(c) SciTech Daily
However, a group of researchers did computer simulations of the events, which revealed a different theory behind the water of the Earth. Experts said, hydrogen oxide might have originated via chemical reactions in the mantle.
The simulations of the study
showed that there had been reactions in the Earth’s upper mantle where liquid hydrogen and quartz exist. Reaction that took place at about 1400 °C and pressures 20,000 times higher than atmospheric pressure as silica, or silicon dioxide, resulted to liquid hydrogen forming liquid water and silicon hydride.
“This is one way water can form on Earth,” says team member John Tse at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada in a statement
. “We show it’s possible to have water forming in Earth’s natural environment, rather than being of extraterrestrial origin.”
This study backs up a study in 2014 that was conducted by Japanese researchers.
“We set up a computer simulation very close to their experimental conditions and simulated the trajectory of the reaction,” Tse told the New Scientist
However, experts were surprised when they learned that though the water forms within the quartz, the liquid can’t escape, which results to a pressure build up.
“The hydrogen fluid diffuses through the quartz layer, but ends up forming water not at the surface, but in the bulk of the mineral,” says Tse. “We analysed the density and structure of the trapped water, and found that it is highly pressurised.”
The simulation showed that the pressure could reach as much as 200,000 atmospheres. “We observed the water to be at high pressure, which might lead to the possibility of induced earthquakes,” says Tse.