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.
Awesome! What could possibly go wrong.
One can only wonder why, and whose money are they using...
--yep--heavy atmosphere, that--
It’ll let all the air out and we’ll go spinning off into space like a deflating balloon.
—glad they don’t plan to do it in Yellowstone Park—
Okay ... 4 million pounds per sq. foot, over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
There’s gotta be a way to put something down there that can deliver some SERIOUS geothermal/geo-pressure energy back up here.
After the idiotic claims that the ocean floor was going to collapse under the deepwater horizon, I’ve decided that no stretch of the imagination is too far for some.
They stopped because they couldn’t keep the bit and drill tubing cool enough to stay together long enough to make things work.
Several years before they can start. The Russians drilled really deep, 12 km, said it got really HOT, 260 degrees Celsius.
Technology wasn’t up to the ambition. Lot of advances since then.
Imagine the center of the earth filled with oil. Drill, baby! Drill!
Oh, I see it was Mohole. Long time ago.
Al Gore says it is millions of degrees hot down there!
And he knows everything since he made a movie, wrote a book and won a Nobel Prize.
I don’t know ANYTHING about this sort of thing, but I do know that I’m quiet uncomfortable with this.
Theres gotta be a way to put something down there that can deliver some SERIOUS geothermal/geo-pressure energy back up here.
What sort of technology do we have that can contain 4 million pounds per square foot of pressure?
Just because they can doesn’t mean they should. They thought the BP leak was hard to stop....
Hopefully they fire up the linear accelerator on the same day so the diversion of guilt can be offset.
Ok who broke the big blue marble ???
I remember reading about that. The Russians have the record for deep drilling, as far as I know.
It had better be pure diamond, or something even harder.
There are lot's of scientific reasons as well as commercial. An interesting thing about the Kola superdeep borehole drilled by the Soviets was the volume of hydrogen gas encountered. One could almost describe it as being a hydrogen well.
And they can’t just dive in an active volcano because....
I think that's everyone's first thought. Can you imagine an uncontrolled, runaway geyser coming straight out of the earth's core? Armageddon. Doomsday.
Personally, I don't believe that our current technology is capable of containing the sort of pressure and heat that such a bore hole would release.
Bad idea, in my estimation.
See the blonde scientist trapped underground with her lover and her husband?
You know, there’s not much cornier than old movie advertising.
Maybe they should have done it May 21.
maybe the hydrogen is down there for a REASON
Michael Moore sitting on the lid ought to contain it, no problem.
But but but - what about the water table? Stephen Chu says we can’t do any fracking, so how is this allowed??
“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?”