Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Enormous pit of melting carbon the size of Mexico discovered under US


This headline is seriously wrong.  What is really happening is that bound CO2 is available to be broken out of its host rocks and then released ultimately to the surface.  So over geological time this CO2 will make it back up.

It is no threat even then because CO2 get absorbed the same way.

Real liquid carbon would be seriously exciting however.

Enormous pit of melting carbon the size of Mexico discovered under US

Published time: 14 Feb, 2017 17:11

Molten lava file photo © Reuters

A reservoir of melting carbon covering an area almost the size of Mexico has been discovered beneath the western US, casting doubt over previous estimates of carbon levels inside the Earth. 

The discovery was made by a team from the University of Royal Holloway London using the world’s largest array of seismic sensors that identified the carbon from vibrations generated in Earth’s upper mantle.

The reservoir is believed to have been formed when a Pacific tectonic plate was forced underneath the western US, according to the research published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

“It is a result of one of the tectonic plates of the Pacific Ocean forced underneath the western US, undergoing partial melting, thanks to gasses like CO2 and H2O contained in the minerals dissolved in it," study author Dr Sash Hier-Majumder of Royal Holloway said in a statement.

Located 217 miles (350km) below the planet’s surface the reservoir is estimated to cover 695,000 sq miles (1.8 million sq km).

Following their research, the scientists say that the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s upper mantle could be up to 100 trillion metric tons.]
The carbon in the upper mantle isn’t expected to stay underground forever, instead it’s slowly making its way up to the surface via volcanic eruptions – adding to the carbon already being emitted into the atmosphere by humans.

“We might not think of the deep structure of the Earth as linked to climate change above us, but this discovery not only has implications for subterranean mapping but also for our future atmosphere,” Hier-Majumder added.

“Releasing only 1 percent of this CO2 into the atmosphere will be the equivalent of burning 2.3 trillion barrels of oil. The existence of such deep reservoirs shows how important is the role of deep Earth in the global carbon cycle.”


Factotum said...

Idiots. It is liquid carbonates. Carbonates are normally a solid crystal at room temp. They are very different from carbon with a much lower melting point, anywhere from 1000 degrees C to 2500 degrees C lower.

And what do you mean absorbed??? --- or CO2 released???

arclein said...

Thanks for that data. Had not known of melting carbonates. otherwise i was thinking of the natural release of co2 from hot carbonates except that would likely requre a decent pressure gradient at a shallow depth. i do suspect that liquid carbon causes kimberlite pipes.