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Scientists plan to drill all the way down to the Earth's mantle
PhysOrg Mobile ^ | 25 March 2011 | Unknown

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 Earth’s crust and into the mantle; a feat never before accomplished, much less seriously attempted.


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: catastrophism; drilling; thomasgold
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Uh-oh. They're gonna pop a hole in da erf.
1 posted on 05/21/2011 2:39:27 PM PDT by Windflier
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To: Windflier

Awesome! What could possibly go wrong.


2 posted on 05/21/2011 2:40:46 PM PDT by ExpatCanuck
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To: Windflier

One can only wonder why, and whose money are they using...


3 posted on 05/21/2011 2:44:16 PM PDT by Iscool (I don't understand all that I know...)
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To: Windflier
-- Last but not least is the problem of atmospheric pressure, which increases the deeper you go, to somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 million pounds per square foot--

--yep--heavy atmosphere, that--

4 posted on 05/21/2011 2:44:42 PM PDT by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the media or government says about firearms or explosives--)
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To: Windflier

It’ll let all the air out and we’ll go spinning off into space like a deflating balloon.


5 posted on 05/21/2011 2:45:18 PM PDT by SkyDancer (I Believe In The Law Until It Interferes With Justice)
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To: Windflier

—glad they don’t plan to do it in Yellowstone Park—


6 posted on 05/21/2011 2:45:46 PM PDT by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the media or government says about firearms or explosives--)
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To: Windflier
Sounds like Mohole back in the 1950’s and 60’s. I always wondered what happened to that effort. It's funny how things keep coming back around.
7 posted on 05/21/2011 2:46:36 PM PDT by Yulee (Village of Albion)
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To: Iscool
One can only wonder why...


8 posted on 05/21/2011 2:49:04 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Windflier

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.


9 posted on 05/21/2011 2:49:24 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: SkyDancer

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.


10 posted on 05/21/2011 2:50:33 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Windflier
Was attempted 50 years ago, but failed from lack of funding because Johnson said we weren't spending enough on welfare. I wonder how this will go with much newer technology? Probably the same: Not enough spending on welfare.

Project Mohole

11 posted on 05/21/2011 2:52:08 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Obama said OBL is dead I didn't believe it. Al Qaeda says he's dead and now I do!)
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To: Yulee

They stopped because they couldn’t keep the bit and drill tubing cool enough to stay together long enough to make things work.


12 posted on 05/21/2011 2:53:13 PM PDT by WellyP
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To: ExpatCanuck
Awesome! What could possibly go wrong.


13 posted on 05/21/2011 2:54:27 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Windflier

14 posted on 05/21/2011 2:55:03 PM PDT by TomServo
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To: Windflier

Several years before they can start. The Russians drilled really deep, 12 km, said it got really HOT, 260 degrees Celsius.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kola_Superdeep_Borehole


15 posted on 05/21/2011 2:55:34 PM PDT by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
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To: Yulee

Moho

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohorovi%C4%8Di%C4%87_discontinuity

Technology wasn’t up to the ambition. Lot of advances since then.


16 posted on 05/21/2011 2:55:48 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Windflier
Uh oh! Not this again!


17 posted on 05/21/2011 2:56:06 PM PDT by MarketR
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To: Windflier

18 posted on 05/21/2011 2:56:36 PM PDT by COBOL2Java (Obama is the least qualified guy in whatever room he walks into.)
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To: rellimpank
—glad they don’t plan to do it in Yellowstone Park—

What Could Possibly Go Wrong: Deep-Drilling a Supervolcano

19 posted on 05/21/2011 2:57:07 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Windflier
They planned to do this before:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Mohole

20 posted on 05/21/2011 2:57:10 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Dr. Sivana

Imagine the center of the earth filled with oil. Drill, baby! Drill!


21 posted on 05/21/2011 2:57:33 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: Yulee

Oh, I see it was Mohole. Long time ago.


22 posted on 05/21/2011 2:57:46 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Windflier
What type of drill bit will they use that won't melt in the process?

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.

23 posted on 05/21/2011 2:57:46 PM PDT by N. Theknow (The MSM is to 0bama what the Broom-n-Scoop Detail is to a circus parade.)
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To: ExpatCanuck
I love this part from the article: This would not be the first time that a sample of the mantle would be recovered however, as volcanoes and such have been forcing under-crust material to the surface for eons; it would be the first time that a sample was found though that hasn’t been tainted by the process that brought it up to us, and that scientists say, is worth whatever the cost might add up to over time as the project carries on through years of laborious drilling.

Whatever the cost. Scientists say, so there ya go!
24 posted on 05/21/2011 2:58:13 PM PDT by rockvillem
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To: Windflier

I don’t know ANYTHING about this sort of thing, but I do know that I’m quiet uncomfortable with this.


25 posted on 05/21/2011 2:58:37 PM PDT by bannie ("The gov't that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul." ))
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To: Dr. Sivana
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.

What sort of technology do we have that can contain 4 million pounds per square foot of pressure?

26 posted on 05/21/2011 2:58:49 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Windflier

Just because they can doesn’t mean they should. They thought the BP leak was hard to stop....


27 posted on 05/21/2011 2:59:53 PM PDT by bgill (Kenyan Parliament - how could a man born in Kenya who is not even a native American become the POTUS)
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To: Windflier

ROTFLMAO !

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 ???


28 posted on 05/21/2011 3:00:29 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: treetopsandroofs
The Russians drilled really deep, 12 km, said it got really HOT, 260 degrees Celsius.

I remember reading about that. The Russians have the record for deep drilling, as far as I know.

29 posted on 05/21/2011 3:00:35 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: N. Theknow
What type of drill bit will they use that won't melt in the process?

It had better be pure diamond, or something even harder.

30 posted on 05/21/2011 3:02:33 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Iscool
One can only wonder why, and whose money are they using...

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.

31 posted on 05/21/2011 3:02:59 PM PDT by fso301
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To: Windflier

And they can’t just dive in an active volcano because....


32 posted on 05/21/2011 3:06:04 PM PDT by Desdemona ( If trusting the men in the clergy was a requirement for Faith, there would be no one in the pews.)
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To: bgill
Just because they can doesn’t mean they should. They thought the BP leak was hard to stop....

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.

33 posted on 05/21/2011 3:06:50 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: TomServo

See the blonde scientist trapped underground with her lover and her husband?

You know, there’s not much cornier than old movie advertising.


34 posted on 05/21/2011 3:07:46 PM PDT by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
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To: Windflier

35 posted on 05/21/2011 3:07:54 PM PDT by Forgotten Amendments (I'd rather be Plaxico Burress than Sean Taylor)
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To: Windflier

Maybe they should have done it May 21.


36 posted on 05/21/2011 3:09:32 PM PDT by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
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To: fso301

maybe the hydrogen is down there for a REASON


37 posted on 05/21/2011 3:09:34 PM PDT by shalom aleichem
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To: ExpatCanuck

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfJINBvvHLE


38 posted on 05/21/2011 3:13:58 PM PDT by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
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To: Windflier

Michael Moore sitting on the lid ought to contain it, no problem.


39 posted on 05/21/2011 3:16:17 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: Windflier

But but but - what about the water table? Stephen Chu says we can’t do any fracking, so how is this allowed??


40 posted on 05/21/2011 3:18:32 PM PDT by TenthAmendmentChampion (Darwinism is to Genesis as Global Warming is to Revelations.)
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To: ExpatCanuck

“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.
Nostradamus.


41 posted on 05/21/2011 3:18:50 PM PDT by Elsiejay
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To: LibWhacker
Michael Moore sitting on the lid ought to contain it, no problem.

Best solution I've heard so far .. LOL

42 posted on 05/21/2011 3:20:09 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Windflier

Hate that idea a lot.


43 posted on 05/21/2011 3:22:23 PM PDT by ez ("Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton, Paradise Lost)
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To: Desdemona
And they can’t just dive in an active volcano because....

Because all that magma is "tainted" donchaknow?

44 posted on 05/21/2011 3:23:10 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Windflier

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


45 posted on 05/21/2011 3:23:32 PM PDT by PiperShade
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To: Yulee

http://www.nationalacademies.org/history/mohole/

“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”


46 posted on 05/21/2011 3:24:41 PM PDT by BwanaNdege ("Experience is the best teacher, but if you can accept it 2nd hand, the tuition is less." M Rosen)
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To: fso301

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.


47 posted on 05/21/2011 3:25:23 PM PDT by ez ("Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton, Paradise Lost)
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To: treetopsandroofs

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.


48 posted on 05/21/2011 3:28:01 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: ExpatCanuck

They had better be careful, they could be screwing with a sports icon here.

49 posted on 05/21/2011 3:31:44 PM PDT by fhayek
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To: bgill

http://www.5min.com/Video/Mud-Volcano-in-Sidoarjo-Indonesia-516997856

Mud Volcano in Sidoarjo, Indonesia

“After all, what could possibly go wrong?”


50 posted on 05/21/2011 3:32:11 PM PDT by BwanaNdege ("Experience is the best teacher, but if you can accept it 2nd hand, the tuition is less." M Rosen)
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