|undead||Date: Sunday, 07-October-2012, 1:21 PM | Message # 1|
Deep below the our feet, past the thin crust of our planet, lies the mantle. Despite making up the vast majority of the Earth’s mass, we know very little about the composition of this region. What could be there? Mole-men? Crab people? Probably nothing so fanciful, but a team of international researchers are about to find out. At an estimated cost of $1 billion, geologists headed by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) are preparing to start drilling into the mantle for the first time.
The mantle is a 3000 km thick layer of super-heated, mostly solid, rock that fills the space between the human-dominated crust, and the dense iron-rich core. It is believed that knowing more about the makeup of the mantle could have significant impact on our understanding of the origins and nature of Earth. Everything from seismology to climatology and plate tectonics could be affected.
The high-tech drill bits being used to bore down into the crust only have an active lifespan of 50-60 hours. After that, the team will have to back out of the hole, change the bit, and plunge back down to the murky depths.
Read more/Full article/source - http://www.extremetech.com/extreme....-mantle