Skip to comments.Scientists plan to drill all the way down to the Earth's mantle
Posted on 05/21/2011 2:39:22 PM PDT by Windflier
(PhysOrg.com) -- In what can only be described as a mammoth undertaking, scientists, led by British co-chiefs, Dr Damon Teagle of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, England and Dr Benoit Ildefonse from Montpellier University in France, have announced jointly in an article in Nature that they intend to drill a hole through the Earths crust and into the mantle; a feat never before accomplished, much less seriously attempted.
“What could possibly go wrong????”
All the magma will spew out, in a stream extending into the stratosphere. It will be stupendously spectacular. Or perhaps spectacularly stupendous.
And how do I know this, you ask? That’s my cosmic secret.
Best solution I've heard so far .. LOL
Hate that idea a lot.
Because all that magma is "tainted" donchaknow?
The Russians tried this on the Kamchackta Pennisula some time back. Lost their bore hole and string as I recall......
IOW its not the “drilling”, per se, its maintaining circulation and keeping the bore open to permit tripping out/in. We’ve improved the hell out of drill fluids, but this is a real stretch. >PS
“Digging a Hole in the Ocean: Project Mohole, 1958-1966
Project Mohole was an attempt to retrieve a sample of material from the earth’s mantle by drilling a hole through the earth’s crust to the Mohorovicic Discontinuity, or Moho. The project was suggested in March 1957 by Walter Munk, NAS member (1956) and member of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Earth Science Panel.
Project Mohole represented, as one historian has described it, the earth sciences’ answer to the space program. If successful, this highly ambitious exploration of the intraterrestrial frontier would provide invaluable information on the earth’s age, makeup, and internal processes. In addition, evidence drawn from the Moho could be brought to bear on the question of continental drift, which at the time was still controversial.
The Mohorovicic Discontinuity marks the boundary between the earth’s crust and mantle. (The Moho was named for Andrija Mohorovicic, a Croatian geologist who first proposed the existence of such a discontinuity. ) The plan was to drill to the Moho through the seafloor, at those points where the earth’s crust is thinnest. Attempting such an effort on land would have been impractical, since the drilling equipment would not have withstood the depths and temperatures involved. Ocean drilling offered a further advantage in that undersea samples, undistorted by atmospheric and surface actions, would provide better evidence of long term geological activity than would samples drawn from land.
The American Miscellaneous Society (AMSOC), an informal group of scientists of which Munk was a member, endorsed Munk’s idea. The group was formed in 1952 when Office of Naval Research geophysicists Gordon Lill and Carl Alexis found themselves handling research proposals that fit into no existing scientific categories. Out of that “precarious miscellany” AMSOC emerged, as a forum for scientific speculation. When funds for Project Mohole had been obtained from NSF, AMSOC in 1958 took charge of the effort as an official study unit of the National Research Council’s Division of Earth Sciences.
Project Mohole was to include three phases, the first consisting of an experimental drilling program, the second consisting of an intermediate vessel program, and the third consisting of the final drilling to the Mohorovicic Discontinuity. After ocean-going trials off La Jolla, California, Phase I began in earnest with a set of drillings off Guadalupe, Mexico, in March and April 1961. Five holes, one of which extended 601feet beneath the seafloor, were drilled under 11,700 feet of water. Cores obtained from the holes showed that the first layer of crust extended 557 feet and consisted of sediment Miocene in age. The second layer of crust was sampled for the first time, and this was found to consist of basalt. After the unprecedented success of Phase I, it was decided to shift operational control to NSF while maintaining the AMSOC Committee as project adviser. This relationship proved to be unsatisfactory, and after a series of negotiations and redefined agreements with NSF, the AMSOC Committee in 1964 dissolved itself. Following the AMSOC Committee’s dissolution, two new National Academies committees continued to advise the NSF Mohole activity until Congress, objecting to increasing costs, discontinued the project toward the end of 1966, before Phase II could be implemented.
Although Project Mohole failed in its intended purpose, it did show that deep ocean drilling was a viable means of obtaining geological samples. Since Mohole’s demise a number of related programs have been undertaken, the most recent one being the NSF’s Ocean Drilling Program”
And venting super hot hydrogen gas from the center of the Earth is good how? I can’t think of a better way to kill everyone.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ef/Murman_region.png It’s somewhere on this map. I have no idea where. There are also 5,000 Skolt Sa’ami around there herding sheep who are sheltered in old Soviet Army barracks and buildings. They used to herd reindeer but were wiped out by residual radiation from Chernobyl. A big nickel iron meteor is in this area, and somebody seeded gigantic Alaskan King Crab in the sea to the North. The Norwegians consider them an invasive species and crab fishermen from Russia and the Kola Peninsula regularly visit the area. During crab fishing season a hotel room in the one nasty hotel in the area (it has water jugs in the room) can cost $3,000 a night. Anyone wanting to go work on this project (world’s deepest hole) should be prepared for substantial hardship. This was about the most isolated spot on Earth outside of Antarctica ~ and there are no belly dancers nearby.
They had better be careful, they could be screwing with a sports icon here.
Mud Volcano in Sidoarjo, Indonesia
“After all, what could possibly go wrong?”
They’re going to drill down to Hell?
IOW its not the drilling, per se, its maintaining circulation and keeping the bore open to permit tripping out/in.
Do you suppose their bore hole closed up on its own after their attempt? As you say, they had a hard time keeping it open. I'd like to think that a wound like that would heal itself, given what could escape from it.
Isn’t that considered a volcano?
Something like that. My fear of this endeavor are the unintended consequences.
“...American Miscellaneous Society (AMSOC), ...”
ow there’s an organization need to join!
You will release the myrmicites!!
(obscure Ren and Stimpy reference)
Pull the South Pole up, that should leave a pretty deep hole!
What is that, like 4,500 miles?
Hope they have a good cork.
Oh boy! Lots of science stuff today. I did an experiment with this. I put boiling soup in a thermos and drilled into the thermos. It takes longer to type with these bandages on my hand.
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