Geologists Preparing To Drill Into Earth’s Mantle, Potentially Triggering Megaquakes


The International Ocean Discovery Project is the latest in a series of human efforts to penetrate the interior of the Earth. For varying reasons, corporations and research groups have sought to open the planet itself up for exploration and eventually development, regardless of any possible consequences such activity could have. As Express observes:

“Many scientists and campaigners now believe there is a direct link between deep drilling and man-made earthquakes.

Scientists say that massive earthquakes would only happen in shallower water because of the pressure on top of them at deeper levels.

However, geologists were left perplexed by a magnitude-8.3 earthquake that suddenly happened on May 24, 2013, in the Sea of Okhotsk, deep within the Earth's mantle.

Thorne Lay, a seismologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz and co-author of a study into it, said: “It's the biggest event we've ever seen.

‘It looks so similar to shallow events, even though it's got 600 kilometres of rock on top of it.'

‘It's hard to understand how such an earthquake occurs at all under such huge pressure.'

It happened at a crack where the Pacific Plate was pressing into the mantle, and was felt in Russia, but fortunately no one was hurt.

If an under-sea quake was big enough it could trigger huge tsunamis like those of Boxing Day 2004 which hit south-east Asia after an earthquake in the Indian Ocean.

Fracking – the process of drilling into the ground before injection a water solution at high pressure to crack open rocks and release natural gas inside them to use as a fossil fuel – is seen as the main culprit for manmade earthquakes by some.

In The US state of Oklahoma, anti-fracking campaigners claim it has led to a huge increase in seismic activity since the industry started there.

They say that magnitude three and upwards earthquakes have gone from a few dozen in 2012 to 720 this and that many of the earthquakes occurring in swarms in areas where injection wells pump salty waste water — a byproduct of oil and gas production — deep into the earth.

There are fears that the project would be like a massive tracking attempt, as sea water would gush into the mantle, and could even trigger a mega quake.

Hoy Hawkins, a US anti-fracking campaigner, is concerned about the location for the world record drill.

He said: ‘Tell me I don't have to take my continental fracking concerns out to remote oceans now.

‘If the ocean mantle is thinner and more brittle, and it's where most earthquakes originate, shouldn't we be worried about pressured ocean water blasting through to this seemingly vulnerable mantle and moho sub-ocean region?

‘A small drill hole opening together with gravity and heavy pressure could create havoc to a confirmed non-smooth Moho – especially over time.'”

What do you think? Has science go too far this time?

Source: Express
drill earth mantle

 



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