Skip to main content

News about Scitation

In December 2016 Scitation will launch with a new design, enhanced navigation and a much improved user experience.

To ensure a smooth transition, from today, we are temporarily stopping new account registration and single article purchases. If you already have an account you can continue to use the site as normal.

For help or more information please visit our FAQs.

News Picks : Some of Earth's water might have been here from the start

By: Physics Today
Mon Nov 16 16:21:00 UTC 2015

Nature: The origin of Earth's water is an open question. Two possible sources are icy comets and asteroids that impacted the planet early in its history. Based on their analysis of ancient volcanic rock, Lydia Hallis, formerly of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, and her colleagues are now arguing that some of the water was already here at the start of the solar system's formation. When lava hardens quickly, it can form crystallized bubbles called melt inclusions that trap water and other compounds from the deep mantle, an area that still contains the primordial material that formed the planet. Hallis's team vaporized those bubbles and analyzed the released material with a mass spectrometer. They looked at the ratio of two hydrogen isotopes, which can point to the origin of the water. The ratio of ordinary hydrogen to deuterium they found was similar to the ratio found in some classes of meteorites, but the ratio was lower than that in Earth's oceans. However, the researchers believe that additional deuterium was collected as the material rose through the mantle. Based on that, they calculated that roughly 20% of the water in the samples was primordial.

Commenting has been disabled for this content

Submit comment
Comment moderation successfully completed
e0bf90919b92373893d51373e6a49b70 weblog.blogpostzxybnytfddd