Mountains five times higher than Mount Everest discovered around the core in the centre of the Earth: what scientists say

Dmitry IvancheskulLife
Underground mountains can reach heights of up to 40 km

Between the Earth's core and mantle may be the bottom of an ancient ocean that disappeared millions of years ago as the Earth's plates shifted. Scientists say they have found signs of giant mountains there, much higher than Mount Everest, which is 8,849 metres high.

This is stated in the results of a new study published in the journal Science Advances. The discovery was made by scientists who recorded data from 15 seismographs located in northwest Antarctica for three years.

It is estimated that these are structures located at a depth of more than 3,200 km. It is at this depth that the planet's rocky mantle meets the molten outer metal core.

Previously, it was believed that a possible ancient ocean floor at the boundary between the core and mantle existed only in certain areas. The new study suggests that it may actually cover a significant part of the Earth's core-mantle boundary.

Studying the composition of the Earth at the core-mantle boundary is very difficult, given the depths involved, but in their work, researchers from the United States and the United Kingdom used a network of 15 seismographs located in northwestern Antarctica. They collected data on what is happening at a depth of more than 3,200 kilometres over three years.

They used these seismographic stations to scan the Earth's seismic waves and create images of what is happening deep beneath our feet.

During their observations, the scientists noticed that at the boundary between the core and the mantle, seismic waves slow down when they reach a certain layer. The thickness of this layer varies from almost 5 kilometres to more than 40 kilometres.

During the study, scientists suggested that the zones in which seismic waves slow down were probably submerged underground millions of years ago when the earth's plates shifted. Scientists suggest that they are denser than the rest of the deep mantle.

According to scientists, these zones look like giant mountains.

"After analysing 1,000 seismic records from Antarctica, our high-definition imaging method revealed anomalous zones of material at the core-mantle boundary wherever we probed," PopSci quoted geophysicist Edward Garnero of Arizona State University (USA) as saying.

According to him, "the thickness of the material varies from several kilometres to tens of kilometres".

"This indicates that we are seeing mountains at the core, in some places five times higher than Everest," the scientist said.

Scientists suggest that underground mountains may play a crucial role in how heat leaves the Earth's core, as well as in the functioning of the planet's magnetic field. Part of the material of these mountains can even be thrown to the surface of the Earth during volcanic eruptions.

Earlier OBOZREVATEL also reported that scientists have discovered that the Earth's core has stopped and changed the direction of rotation.

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