- Geophysicists have detected large structures hidden near the boundary between the mantle and the Earth's core.
- These structures, which are surprisingly dense areas of rocks, were mapped using data collected from thousands of seismic events such as earthquakes.
- The scientists used an AI algorithm to help make sense of the data and reveal hidden features lurking far below the surface.
There are scientific disciplines that focus on almost every aspect of our natural world that you can think of. From the farthest reaches of space to the deepest points of the ocean, someone, somewhere, is trying to promote the collective knowledge of humanity. One area of science that doesn't usually make the headlines is the study of the bowels of the Earth, but that is about to change.
A new article published by geophysicists at the University of Maryland describes the discovery of previously unknown structures surrounding the Earth's core. The research was published in the journal. Science.
As with any rocky planet, the deeper you go, the hotter things get. This is a product of the intense pressure exerted by gravity that drags all the material we call Earth. If you go deep enough, you come across a rock that is so hot that it turns liquid, but not all of this rock is the same.
As the researchers explain, they were able to use seismic wave recordings to provide a kind of three-dimensional map of areas near Earth's core that revealed a surprise. Hoping to find a smooth transition between the mantle and the core, the team discovered large rock structures that were much denser than one would assume.
They enlisted the help of an artificial intelligence algorithm called Sequencer to make sense of thousands of seismograms captured during hundreds of major earthquakes between 1990 and 2018. Once the data was processed, the researchers were able to see the strange structures lurking under our feet.
When you see the term "structures,quot;, you can imagine a hidden city lurking under our feet, but that is not the case. These structures are just rocky features that persist in an area where they are not necessarily expected to exist.
"By looking at thousands of echoes from the central mantle boundary at the same time, instead of focusing on a few at a time, as is often done, we have gained a whole new perspective," said Doyeon Kim, lead author of the study. statement. "This shows us that the core-mantle boundary region has many structures that can produce these echoes, and that was something we hadn't realized before because we only had a narrow view."
It is incredibly interesting to know that the Earth we have all spent our entire lives on has more at its center than we can imagine. Our understanding of how the core and mantle "work,quot; is still fairly basic, but studies like this bring us a little closer to understanding the big picture.