A study showed that Mariana Trench, the deepest natural point in the world, turned out to be a funnel that drags three times as much water to the earth as previously estimated.
According to the study published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, it was a unique seismic study of the impact of slow-motion collisions of tectonic plates under the ocean.
The observations of the deepest ocean trough in the world have important implications for the world water cycle.
"People knew that the subduction zones could bring the water down, but they did not know how much water," said the first author of the study, Cai Chen, who completed his doctoral studies at the University of Washington in St. Louis.
"This research shows that the subduction zones move much more water to the deep interior of the earth, many miles below the surface than previously thought," said Candace Major, program director of the Department of Ocean Sciences. the National Science Foundation, which funded the study.
The researchers listened for more than a year to rumors about the earth, from environmental noise to real earthquakes, using a network of 19 passive seismographs on the ocean floor deployed in the channel, together with seven island-based seismographs.
The gully is where the Western Pacific Ocean Plate slides under the Mariana plate and sinks deep into the mantle of the earth as the plates slowly merge.
They discovered that the ocean water on the scale descended to the earth's crust and the upper mantle along the fault lines that connected the area where the plates collided and arched, and that's why the water was stuck.
According to the study, the water was converted under certain conditions of temperature and pressure into hydrated non-liquid minerals or wet rocks, which enclosed the water in the rock of the geological plate.
Then the plaque remains deeper and deeper in the mantle of the earth, and brings the water with it.
The seismic images showed that the hydrated rock in the Mariana Trench extends almost 20 miles or 32.2 kilometers below the seabed.
According to the study, four times more water subducts than previously calculated for the Mariana Trench region can be extrapolated to predict conditions in other ocean trenches around the world.
Scientists believed that most of the water that fell into the ditch returned from the earth to the atmosphere in the form of water vapor when volcanoes erupted hundreds of miles away.
With the revised water estimates of the new study, however, the amount of water entering the earth seems to be much greater than the amount of water that comes out of it.