Earth's interior taking in more seawater than previous thought, study finds

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Seismic activity around the Mariana Trench have revealed the earth around it could be taking in at least 4.3 times more water than previously thought, according to a new study in the journal Nature.

The researchers deployed 19 seismographs to the bottom of the ocean around the trench, and seven land-based seismographs on the Mariana Islands.

Two tectonic plates meet at the Mariana Trench, which is where the huge Pacific Plate seems to be sliding under the tiny Mariana Plate, thus letting vasts amount of seawater to pour through the cracks into the earth's crust 30 kilometers below the surface.

The researchers believe that the seawater could turn into hydrous minerals due to the high temperature and pressure.

The hydrous minerals would then be incorporated into the lower plate and sink deeper into the mantle as the tectonic plate sinks.

Chen Cai, lead author of the study, told Live Science there is no missing water in the ocean and that the amount of water going into Earth's interior and coming back out should be equal.

However, it appears that there is a disparity, with Chen adding that more studies should be conducted to find out more about the water cycles of our planet.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. The Mariana Trench, output of a seismograph, water icon and a vertical bar graph
2. Seismograph under the sea and seismograph on land
3. One tectonic plate sliding under the other
4. Seawater turning into hydrous minerals and tectonic plates

VOICEOVER (in English):
"According to a new study in the journal Nature, seismic activity around the Mariana Trench have revealed the earth around it could be taking in at least 4.3 times more water than previously thought."
"The researchers deployed 19 seismographs to the bottom of the ocean around the trench, and seven land-based seismographs on the Mariana Islands."
"Two tectonic plates meet at the Mariana Trench, which is where the huge Pacific Plate seems to be sliding under the tiny Mariana Plate, thus letting vasts amount of seawater to pour through the cracks into the earth's crust 30 kilometers below the surface."
"The researchers believe that the seawater could turn into hydrous minerals due to the high temperature and pressure. The hydrous minerals would then be incorporated into the lower plate and sink deeper into the mantle as the tectonic plate sinks."
SOURCES: New Atlas, Gizmodo, Popular Mechanics, Live Science, Nature journal,
https://newatlas.com/mariana-trench-water-mantle/57239/
https://gizmodo.com/observations-from-mariana-trench-show-inner-earth-is-su-1830493943
https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/a25137453/earth-swallowing-ocean/
https://www.livescience.com/64091-earth-is-eating-its-oceans.html
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0655-4