Re: Earth could hold more water

Posted by Dale on Mar 12, 2002 at 10:16

Re: Earth could hold more water (Mike Kremer)

But how did these huge oceanic volumes of water really get underground?

Lotís of possibilities. :) But it is simply heavier than air and so sits on the surface and creeps into cracks. The deeper it goes the more pressure there is because the more water there is above it.

Leaving your postulations for the momentÖ

Somewhere above Dale, you mention that it might have been produced by the re-combination of Oxygen and Hydrogen. I'm not sure how.....since you can't compress it into water.

No, hydrogen and oxygen combust into water. Or should we just say that hydrogen oxidizes? Might make things clearer below.

And in any case there was no Oxygen around on early Earth.

Very wrong. There was MORE oxygen on early earth than there is today. You are thinking of atmospheric oxygen which I will agree was in short supply early on. The oxygen was all tied up in oxidized rocks and water andÖ The earth isnít some alchemists paradise and algae donít manufacture oxygen from lead. The algae just frees oxygen from carbon dioxide and mineral oxides.

What the scientist mean ,(I think) is that there 'oceanic' amounts of water are locked up and trapped as water molecules inside all the rocks and cracks of the Earths interior.

Agreed. A year or so ago I posited that enough oxygen and hydrogen atoms were trapped down there to make some real deep water if brought to the surface. This study just posits that the oxygen and hydrogen not only exist but exist in the same molecules as water.

My thoughts are, it could be entirely possible for
Microbes to be feasting on all the warm rocks down there and excreting water for a millions of years, as a consequence?

Do microbes make water? Why bother with such a complicated solution? From looking at space we see lots of free hydrogen but we also see lots of oxidized hydrogen. I find it very reasonable to just believe we were given a larger inventory of water than we previously assumed. We knew the oxygen was there as mineral oxides and that the hydrogen must be there also because of the mass discrepancies. Now we know that we have both mineral oxides and hydrogen oxides down there. Why not just assume they got there during the formation of the earth? It seems more likely to me that we received hydrogen dioxide from space than that we absorbed free hydrogen and oxidized it here.

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