Earth Swallowing the Oceans

Posted by Kyle Brookings on Wednesday, November 21, 2018
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A new study published in the journal Nature reports that the Earth's tectonic plates are consuming water at an alarming rate.

Oceans are sinking under the crust three times faster than originally thought.

Near the Mariana Trench, at least 4.3 times more ocean water is subducted than previously thought.

Most of the water being subducted into the Earth is believed to be emitted back into the atmosphere as water vapor in volcanic eruptions.

3 billion teragrams of water are swallowed into the crust every million years.

It is estimated an additional 1.5 to eleven times the amount of water in the oceans is contained in the Earth's interior, and some scientists have hypothesized that the water in the mantle is part of a "whole-Earth water cycle".

The Team

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