Underground ocean discovered

Published: Saturday 31 March 2007

Scientists have discovered a giant water-bearing area hundreds of kilometres beneath eastern Asia. Termed an "underground ocean", this cave system is almost the size of the Arctic Ocean.

Researchers discovered it while observing how seismic waves from distant earthquakes pass through Earth's mantle. The zone of moisture-bearing rocks, 700 to 1,400 km beneath the surface, runs from Indonesia to the northern tip of Russia, and consists of relatively weak rock that causes seismic waves to lose strength rapidly. Michael Wysession of Washington University, usa, says the zone is not an actual ocean; water forms a low percentage of the rock--under 0.1 per cent.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.