Research

There are mountains under the Earth - they are higher than it might seem

The landscape of the Earth is incredibly diverse: on its surface there are both smooth plains, and deep depressions and huge mountains. A study of geophysicists from the United States and China showed that all this is nothing compared to the species that open up to hundreds of kilometers below our feet. They believe that there is an array of huge mountains, whose height far exceeds the height of the 1916-meter Appalachian mountain system.

This discovery was made during the study of powerfulearthquake of 1994, which occurred in Bolivia. Archival data showed that his tremors were so powerful that their waves reached a depth of 410-660 kilometers. It is there that is the layer of the Earth called "transition zone" - the boundary between the upper and lower mantle of the planet. Having studied the reflection of seismic waves from underground surfaces, scientists were able to form a vision of the underground structure.

It turned out that the upper limit of the zone at depth410 kilometers has a relatively smooth surface. However, the surface at a depth of 660 kilometers turned out to be extremely uneven, with sharp changes in altitudes up to 3.2 kilometers. Based on these data, it was suggested that the depths of the Earth have much more irregularities than its surface.

We can not accurately calculate their height, but it seems that they are higher than any mountains on Earth.

Wenbo Wu, Institute of Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

The presence of such a relief hints thatthe lower layer of the mantle is practically not mixed with the solid shell of the Earth. It turns out that since the time of the formation of the planet they have been preserved almost in their original form. The researchers intend to continue research to identify the historical processes of the formation of the Earth.

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