Into the Earth's mantle -- Mohole II?

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lpetrich
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Into the Earth's mantle -- Mohole II?

Post by lpetrich » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:09 am

Scientists want to be first to drill into the Earth's mantle - CNN from April 4, 2017.

It will be about 4 km to the ocean floor, 6 km through the ocean crust, and likely at least 1 km into the mantle. Three drilling sites are being considered, sites near Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Mexico, all in the Pacific Ocean.

They plan to use the drilling ship Chikyu, and they hope to start drilling by 2030.


This had been attempted at least once before, in Project Mohole. It was named after the Moho, short for the Mohorovičić discontinuity between the crust and the mantle. It was an effort to drill into the mantle through oceanic crust in the early 1960's, and it failed.

The deepest hole ever drilled is the Kola Superdeep Borehole, in the Kola Peninsula in Russia, about 12 km deep. It was on a continent, so it got only halfway to the mantle.

Some mantle rock does come up, like in ophiolites, pieces of oceanic crust pushed up by colliding continents, and kimberlites, rock that comes up from the upper mantle and carries diamonds with it.

But getting a sample of the mantle apart from these rocks could still be good.

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