Münster – An international research team has discovered a previously unknown region of the Earth's mantle, the shell of the earth's interior, when investigating Bermuda's volcanic rock. The region starts under the outer crust and extends to 2,900 meters deep in the interior of our planet, as the Westphalian Wilhelms University (WWU) Münster announced on Wednesday.
The scientists report on their discovery in the magazine nature, According to information from the University of Münster, the Bermuda Islands have always been considered a special site in the middle of the western Atlantic, not just because of their white beaches. Because the archipelago is located on top of a 4,570 meter high volcano, extinct about 30 million years ago. This geological peculiarity was examined by the international team of scientists and the magma was first subjected to a detailed geochemical investigation.
The goal of the researchers was to draw conclusions about the inner nature of the earth. The newly discovered area is characterized by a specific atomic lino composition due to radioactive decay, as well as carbon, water and other volatile substances.
"Our research shows that our understanding of the composition of the mantle is still incomplete – although we have studied it for almost a century," said research director Sarah Mazza of the Institute of Planetology at WWU.
Range between 410 and 660 kilometers of depth
The researchers suspect that the newly discovered mantle reservoir comes from stone slabs that are left over from Pangea, the last supercontinent in the history of the earth, and stored in the so-called transition zone. This is the area between 410 and 660 kilometers deep, which is considered a transition from the upper to the lower mantle.
According to the university, the fact that the new knowledge about the transition zone was obtained directly from rock samples is a special feature: most of the previous knowledge was thus obtained from other methods, such as the investigation of deeply buried diamonds and geophysical calculations.
"The discoveries in Bermuda show that we must continue to explore islands, underwater mountains and other volcanic areas in the Atlantic to improve our understanding of the geochemical evolution of the earth," said Cornell University Esteban Gazel. USA, also head of the study, (APA / AFP)