Science

Molten Carbon Discovered Underneath Western US

By Rodney Rafols , Feb 17, 2017 12:46 AM EST
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Climate change and global warming are hot issues today. There is still much controversy about them, which could polarize viewpoints. The issues will not likely to subside soon, as molten carbon has been discovered underneath Western US.

The huge deposit of molten carbon is said to be one of the largest ever found. The deposit has an area around 695,000 square miles in size. It is also deep within the Earth, as its depth is said to be 217 miles deep.

The discovery was made with the help of a large number of seismic sensors. The project was conducted by geologists from the Department of Earth Sciences at Royal Holloway and the University of London. Looking at the molten carbon reservoir directly would not be possible, as it is deep into the Earth's mantle.

The sensors have been used to give the researchers an idea of how large the deposit is, as explained by Dr. Sash Hier-Majumder from Royal Holloway. The large reservoir is said to be the result of the tectonic plates in the Pacific Ocean. It has forced the reservoir underneath the Western US, which has resulted in its melting,

The amount of carbon dioxide trapped in the Earth's mantle could be large due to this reservoir, according to Fox News. As much as 100 metric tons of carbon dioxide are said to be trapped there. This carbon dioxide would slowly come up to the surface by way of volcanic eruptions.

If ever the carbon dioxide reaches the surface, it could add to the greenhouse effect being experienced, as inhabitat reports. This could then add to global warming later on. Its release to the surface though would be quite slow, which means it might take many years before all of the carbon dioxide trapped could come to the surface.

Dr. Hier-Majumder has said that the Earth is a factor in global carbon cycles. The discovery of the molten carbon reservoir shows this. Molten carbon has been discovered underneath Western US. The Ventura Fault could also be the source of strong earthquakes later on.

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