Hydrocarbons in the Deep Earth?

Historic planetary instability and catastrophe. Evidence for electrical scarring on planets and moons. Electrical events in today's solar system. Electric Earth.

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Re: Hydrocarbons in the Deep Earth?

Unread postby moonkoon » Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:13 am

Re the chapter on "Carbon in the Core, Bin Chen and Jie Li"

... iron carbide, Fe7C3, provides a good match for the density and sound velocities of Earth's inner core under the relevant conditions.

... seismic waves called S waves travel through the inner core at about half the speed expected for most iron-rich alloys under relevant pressures.

Some researchers have attributed the S-wave velocities to the presence of liquid, calling into question the solidity of the inner core. In recent years, the presence of various light elements—including sulfur, carbon, silicon, oxygen and hydrogen—has been proposed to account for the density deficit of Earth's core.

... "This model challenges the conventional view that the Earth is highly depleted in carbon ...

http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/22547- ... l-suggests

Note that this iron carbide model is just that, ...a model. The modelers acknowledge that it is provocative and speculative.
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Re: Hydrocarbons in the Deep Earth?

Unread postby Chromium6 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:31 pm

moonkoon wrote:Re the chapter on "Carbon in the Core, Bin Chen and Jie Li"

... iron carbide, Fe7C3, provides a good match for the density and sound velocities of Earth's inner core under the relevant conditions.

... seismic waves called S waves travel through the inner core at about half the speed expected for most iron-rich alloys under relevant pressures.

Some researchers have attributed the S-wave velocities to the presence of liquid, calling into question the solidity of the inner core. In recent years, the presence of various light elements—including sulfur, carbon, silicon, oxygen and hydrogen—has been proposed to account for the density deficit of Earth's core.

... "This model challenges the conventional view that the Earth is highly depleted in carbon ...

http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/22547- ... l-suggests

Note that this iron carbide model is just that, ...a model. The modelers acknowledge that it is provocative and speculative.


That paper's mention of Diamond Anvil pressure to replicate deep Earth pressure reminded me of this paper. Some Chinese researchers found strange elements under a Diamond Anvil that are not ordinary.

Salt is not what we thought
http://milesmathis.com/salt.pdf
On the Windhexe: ''An engineer could not have invented this,'' Winsness says. ''As an engineer, you don't try anything that's theoretically impossible.''
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Re: Hydrocarbons in the Deep Earth?

Unread postby Chromium6 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:13 pm

There’s Mysteriously Large Amounts of Methane on Mars

Posted By Sushil K. Atreya & Christopher R. Webster on Mar 26, 2017

If you want to detect life on another planet, look for biomarkers—spectroscopic signatures of chemicals that betray the activity of living things. And in fact we may have already found a biomarker. In 2003 Earth-based astronomers caught glimpses of methane in the Martian atmosphere. The discovery was initially controversial, so much so that the discoverers themselves held back from publishing it. But the two of us and our colleagues recently confirmed the presence of methane using NASA’s Curiosity rover. It is the most tangible evidence we have ever collected that we may not be alone in the universe.

Almost no matter where the methane comes from, it’s an intriguing discovery. If you dropped a molecule of methane into the atmosphere of Mars, it would survive about 300 years—that’s how long, on average, it would take for solar ultraviolet radiation and other Martian gases to destroy the molecule. By rights, the Martian atmosphere should have been scrubbed of its methane eons ago. So, the methane we see must come either from a source that is producing methane today or from a subsurface reservoir that is venting methane produced sometime in the past. On Earth, 95 percent of methane is biological in origin. The class of bacteria known as methanogens feeds on organic matter and excretes methane. They populate our planet’s wetlands, which account for nearly a quarter of the methane present in the Earth’s atmosphere globally. Cows’ gut bacteria are the second largest producers. It is the possibility of microbial life that has propelled the search for methane on Mars.

But even if the methane there comes from geologic processes, it would give us a profound new respect for what looks outwardly like a geologically dead world. Methane can be produced by the geochemical process of serpentinization, which is widespread in Earth’s crust, especially at warm and hot hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor known as Lost City and Black Smokers. This process requires a source of geologic heat as well as liquid water. Those happen to be two main ingredients of life, as well.

Mars is indeed active and has the potential of harboring past or present microbial life.

The Arabia Terra region was the site of methane detected by the Mars Express spacecraft in 2004.Photograph by NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

The mystery isn’t just that we see methane when we shouldn’t. It’s also that, in a sense, we see too much of it. The Mars methane abundance varies dramatically in location and time, implying not only an unknown source, but also an unknown sink. The variation was evident in the very first detections from telescopes in Hawaii and Chile, reported by NASA astronomer Michael Mumma at a meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences in 2003. The following year, Vittorio Formisano of the Institute for Interplanetary Space Physics in Rome and his team (including one of us, Atreya) published findings from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter. Like Mumma, Formisano’s team observed variations in methane abundance, although the values measured from Mars Express were much lower, about 15 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) global average. By comparison, the methane abundance on Earth is 1875 ppbv. (Gas concentrations are commonly measured by the volume a gas occupies, as opposed to its mass.)

Both sets of observations sought the infrared spectral fingerprint of methane in sunlight reflected from the Martian atmosphere. The ground-based telescopic observations looked out through Earth’s own air, which also contains methane, so the analysis had to separate the Martian and terrestrial methane signals. Although the orbital data did not suffer from this problem, they had their own confounding factors, such as the presence of other gases with overlapping spectral lines in the same region. Both teams were very careful, but their observations remain controversial to this day.

To resolve the issue, NASA decided in 2004 to dedicate an instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory mission (with its rover, Curiosity) to the methane question. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument package, built and operated by a team led by Paul Mahaffy of NASA, included a tunable laser spectrometer (TLS). The TLS performs an in-situ measurement of methane in a well-defined atmospheric volume of known temperature and pressure. The instrument first ingests Martian air into a cell about the size of a coffee cup. Then it fires an infrared laser into the gas to see how much light is absorbed. The laser scans across wavelengths to look for the distinctive fingerprint of methane and other gases. On its own, the TLS can measure methane to within about 2 ppbv. To achieve even higher sensitivities, SAM flows the ingested gas slowly over a compound that scrubs out the dominant carbon dioxide gas, thereby enriching the methane signals, and reducing the measurement uncertainty to about 0.1 ppbv. On Earth, the TLS technique has been used since the 1980s and produced the first airborne measurements of chlorine reservoirs in the ozone hole, the deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio in cirrus clouds, and methane measurements at numerous locations.
(more at link)
http://nautil.us/blog/theres-mysterious ... ne-on-mars
On the Windhexe: ''An engineer could not have invented this,'' Winsness says. ''As an engineer, you don't try anything that's theoretically impossible.''
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Re: Hydrocarbons in the Deep Earth?

Unread postby Chromium6 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:20 pm

NASA's finds on Titan with another flyby coming up next week:

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cass ... 80213.html
Titan's Surface Organics Surpass Oil Reserves on Earth
Saturn's orange moon Titan has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, according to new data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The hydrocarbons rain from the sky, collecting in vast deposits that form lakes and dunes.

The new findings from the study led by Ralph Lorenz, Cassini radar team member from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md., are reported in the Jan. 29 issue of the Geophysical Research Letters.

"Titan is just covered in carbon-bearing material -- it's a giant factory of organic chemicals," said Lorenz. "This vast carbon inventory is an important window into the geology and climate history of Titan."

At a balmy minus 179 degrees Celsius (minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit), Titan is a far cry from Earth. Instead of water, liquid hydrocarbons in the form of methane and ethane are present on the moon's surface, and tholins probably make up its dunes. The term "tholins"was coined by Carl Sagan in 1979 to describe the complex organic molecules at the heart of prebiotic chemistry.

Cassini has mapped about 20 percent of Titan's surface with radar. Several hundred lakes and seas have been observed, with each of several dozen estimated to contain more hydrocarbon liquid than Earth's oil and gas reserves. The dark dunes that run along the equator contain a volume of organics several hundred times larger than Earth's coal reserves.

Proven reserves of natural gas on Earth total 130 billion tons, enough to provide 300 times the amount of energy the entire United States uses annually for residential heating, cooling and lighting. Dozens of Titan's lakes individually have the equivalent of at least this much energy in the form of methane and ethane.
...

April 26, 2016
Cassini Explores a Methane Sea on Titan
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/cassin ... a-on-titan

Of the hundreds of moons in our solar system, Titan is the only one with a dense atmosphere and large liquid reservoirs on its surface, making it in some ways more like a terrestrial planet.

Both Earth and Titan have nitrogen-dominated atmospheres -- over 95 percent nitrogen in Titan's case. However, unlike Earth, Titan has very little oxygen; the rest of the atmosphere is mostly methane and trace amounts of other gases, including ethane. And at the frigid temperatures found at Saturn's great distance from the sun, the methane and ethane can exist on the surface in liquid form.

For this reason, scientists had long speculated about the possible existence of hydrocarbon lakes and seas on Titan, and data from the NASA/ESA Cassini-Huygens mission does not disappoint. Since arriving in the Saturn system in 2004, the Cassini spacecraft has revealed that more than 620,000 square miles (1.6 million square kilometers) of Titan's surface -- almost two percent of the total -- are covered in liquid.

There are three large seas, all located close to the moon's north pole, surrounded by numerous of smaller lakes in the northern hemisphere. Just one large lake has been found in the southern hemisphere.

The exact composition of these liquid reservoirs remained elusive until 2014, when the Cassini radar instrument was first used to show that Ligeia Mare, the second largest sea on Titan and similar in size to Lake Huron and Lake Michigan combined, is methane-rich. A new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, which used the radar instrument in a different mode, independently confirms this result.

"Before Cassini, we expected to find that Ligeia Mare would be mostly made up of ethane, which is produced in abundance in the atmosphere when sunlight breaks methane molecules apart. Instead, this sea is predominantly made of pure methane," said Alice Le Gall, a Cassini radar team associate at the French research laboratory LATMOS, Paris, and lead author of the new study.
...
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/experi ... h-nitrogen

March 15, 2017
Experiments Show Titan Lakes May Fizz with Nitrogen

While the thought of hydrocarbon lakes bubbling with nitrogen on an alien moon is dramatic, Malaska points out that the movement of nitrogen on Titan doesn't just move in one direction. Clearly, it has to get into the methane and ethane before it can get out.

"In effect, it's as though the lakes of Titan breathe nitrogen," Malaska said. "As they cool, they can absorb more of the gas, 'inhaling.' And as they warm, the liquid's capacity is reduced, so they 'exhale.'"

A similar phenomenon occurs on Earth with carbon dioxide absorption by our planet's oceans.

Results of the study were published online in February by the journal Icarus.

Final Titan Flyby Nears

Cassini will make its final close flyby of Titan -- its 127th targeted encounter -- on April 22. During the flyby, Cassini will sweep its radar beam over Titan's northern seas one final time. The radar team designed the upcoming observation so that, if magic island features are present this time, their brightness may be useful for distinguishing between bubbles, waves and floating or suspended solids.

The flyby also will bend the spacecraft's course to begin its final series of 22 plunges through the gap between Saturn and its innermost rings, known as Cassini's Grand Finale. The 20-year mission will conclude with a dive into Saturn's atmosphere on Sept. 15.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter.
On the Windhexe: ''An engineer could not have invented this,'' Winsness says. ''As an engineer, you don't try anything that's theoretically impossible.''
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Re: Hydrocarbons in the Deep Earth?

Unread postby Chromium6 » Thu May 18, 2017 9:32 pm

Ancient rivers show lack of plate tectonics on Mars and Titan

19 May 2017

Unlike the topography of Earth, that of Mars and Titan was largely created by planet-wide processes such as thermal expansion, writes Andrew Masterson.

A radar image of Ligea Mare, a large hydrocarbon sea on Titan, and the rivers that drain into it.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI

River system patterns indicate that plate tectonics exerts a greater influence on landscape on Earth than it does on Mars or Saturn’s moon Titan.

The processes that created the topography of Titan and Mars are not well understood, so a team led by Benjamin Black from the City University of New York set out to see if ancient river networks visible on each might yield some clues.

In a study published in the journal Science, the team reports that drainage systems on Earth are influenced by a shorter “wavelength” of planetary activity than those of the other two bodies.

River systems – ancient or active – are informative when analysing topography, Black and colleagues explain, because their layout indicates whether they formed at the same time as the dominant topography, or later.

A process such as thermal expansion affects the entire surface area of a planet, or moon, and creates a topography known as a “long wavelength”. Black’s team found that the river systems visible on both Mars and Titan conformed to these long-wavelength patterns.

In the case of Mars, the team concluded, the river system were likely created before the later formation of valleys, and the craters created by the Noachian-Hesperian bombardment, a period of intense asteroid and meteorite impacts, around 4100 to 3700 million years ago.

The long-wavelength features on Titan, by contrast, are assumed to be comparatively recent, the result of moon-wide adjustments caused by shell-thickness variations arising from tidal heating or thermal expansion and contraction.
(more at link...)
https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/ancien ... -and-titan
On the Windhexe: ''An engineer could not have invented this,'' Winsness says. ''As an engineer, you don't try anything that's theoretically impossible.''
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Re: Hydrocarbons in the Deep Earth?

Unread postby Chromium6 » Thu May 18, 2017 9:34 pm

Geologists solve the mystery of what tectonic plates float on

16 February 2015
Scientists use dynamite to shake the truth out of the Earth's underbelly. Cathal O'Connell reports.


New research shows a lubricating jelly layer beneath the tectonic plates that allows them to slide. – Dorling

Any geologist will tell you the Earth’s crust is broken into tectonic plates that “float” around like gigantic rafts. But just what these rafts have been floating upon, has been a mystery – until now.

A team of New Zealand scientists detonated tons of dynamite and listened for echoes to reveal the underbelly of the Pacific plate. They found a 10 kilometre thick channel of lubricating jelly-like rock, which they say allows the plate to slide above it, according to a report in Nature.

German meteorologist Alfred Wegener proposed the idea of rafting continents back in 1912 after perusing maps and noticing that the east coast of South America and the west coast of Africa would fit together like jigsaw pieces. But scientists only started taking the idea seriously in 1963 when geophysicists Fred Vine and Drummond Matthews showed that the crust on the ocean floor, on either side of the mid-oceanic ridges, was indeed moving.

These days plate tectonics is “obvious”, says Louis Moresi, a geologist at the University of Melbourne. “You can log on to Google Earth and actually plot the movement.”

The plates themselves are composed of a thick layer of hard rock known as the lithosphere that lies above a softer layer known as the asthenosphere. But no one knew what lay at the lithosphere asthenosphere boundary (LAB).

In the past geologists relied on earthquakes originating on the other side of the planet of the planet to try and find out. Like doctors placing a stethoscope to the Earth’s surface, they detected seismic waves.

The fact these waves move at different speeds through different layers allowed geologists to sketch a coarse picture of the medium through which they travelled. But natural seismic waves are 10-40 kilometres in length – too long to resolve the fine-grained structure below the plates. So the New Zealanders took matters into their own hands.

“Rather than relying on earthquake waves that come from below we create our own ‘earthquakes’ with dynamite shots,” says Tim Stern at Victoria University, Wellington, who led the project. The resulting waves are about 500 metres long and able to resolve finer structures. The blast zone was sited on the southern tip of New Zealand’s North Island where the 73-kilometre thick Pacific plate dips beneath the Australian plate at the rate of about 40 millimetres a year.

The team set up 877 Coke can-sized seismometers strung like beads along 85 kilometres. Then from multiple boreholes they detonated half a tonne of TNT in each.

The seismic echoes revealed something unusual stuck to the Pacific plate’s underbelly – a channel of jelly-like rock about 10 kilometres thick.

Researchers used blast waves to get a view of what lies beneath the Pacific plate as it dives below New Zealand’s North Island. At the base of the plate they found a 10 km thick jelly-like channel, the lithosphere asthenosphere boundary (LAB), which decouples it from the underlying asthenosphere. – Cosmos Magazine

“We always thought the boundary would be gradual and defined by temperature. This study shows it’s an abrupt transition and requires something more than temperature alone to explain it,” says geologist Andrew Gleadow, also at the University of Melbourne.

The New Zealand team suggests the jelly rock gains its consistency from a higher concentration of water or magma than is present in the lithosphere above it. But it would not have to be too high. While the lithosphere contains 0.1% magma, even a 2% concentration of magma might be enough to explain the consistency of the rock in the channel. “On a million-year time scale this would appear weak and jelly-like,” explains Stern.

The finding of the jelly channel might also help resolve a 50-year debate about whether the plates move as a result of being pushed or pulled. An early idea was that magma being extruded from the mid-oceanic ridges was pushing the plates apart. Another pushing force might come from slowly creeping convection currents beneath the plates that act like rollers beneath a conveyer belt.

On the other hand the major force might be a pulling one. As one edge of an oceanic plate dives back into the mantle beneath – as the Pacific one is doing – it pulls the rest of the slab after it. The finding of the jelly layer makes the pushing and rolling mechanisms less likely, says Gleadow. “If the plates are mechanically disconnected from the mantle below, there can’t be good coupling to underlying convection movements.”

On the other hand, the jelly layer adds weight to the idea that gravity is the driving force pulling the plates along. As one edge of the plate is being dragged under, the low friction jelly layer means the rest of the plate just slithers after it like a ski on snow.

The next question is how this channel was formed and if it is present all over the world, says Moresi. Evidence from previous studies hints at a similar structure beneath the coast of Norway and another off Costa Rica. If it is found everywhere, “it would change our understanding of the internal dynamics quite a lot”.

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Finkel

This article appeared in Cosmos 63 - Jun-Jul 2015 under the headline "Geologists solve the mystery of what tectonic plates float on"
(more at link...)
https://cosmosmagazine.com/geoscience/g ... ates-float
On the Windhexe: ''An engineer could not have invented this,'' Winsness says. ''As an engineer, you don't try anything that's theoretically impossible.''
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Re: Hydrocarbons in the Deep Earth?

Unread postby sureshbansal342 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:17 am

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Re: Hydrocarbons in the Deep Earth?

Unread postby Chromium6 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:07 am

A massive lake of molten carbon the size of Mexico is discovered under the US, and it could cause climate CHAOS

- Situated under western US, 217 miles (350km) beneath the Earth's surface
- Scientists used world's largest array of seismic sensors to map area
- Melting carbon covers an area of 700,000 sq miles (1.8 million sq km)
- Upper mantle could contain up to 100 trillion metric tonnes of melted carbon
- Its discovery challenges what researchers have assumed about how much carbon is trapped inside the planet

By Tim Collins For Mailonline

Published: 12:50 BST, 15 February 2017 | Updated: 14:41 BST, 15 February 2017
A huge well of molten carbon that would spell disaster for the planet if released has been found under the US.

Scientists using the world's largest array of seismic sensors have mapped a deep-Earth area, covering 700,000 sq miles (1.8 million sq km).

This is around the size of Mexico, and researchers say it has the potential to cause untold environmental damage.

The discovery could change our understanding of how much carbon the Earth contains, suggesting it is much more than we previously believed.

It would be impossible to drill far enough down to physically 'see' the Earth's mantle, so a team of researchers used a massive group of sensors to paint a picture of it, using mathematical equations to interpret their results.

The study, conducted by geologists at Royal Holloway University in London, used a huge network of 583 seismic sensors that measure the Earth's vibrations, to create a picture of the area's deep sub surface.

Known as the upper mantle, this section of the Earth's interior is known for by its high temperatures where solid carbonates melt, creating distinctive seismic patterns.

What they found was a vast buried deposit of molten carbon, which produces carbon dioxide and other gases, situated under the Western US, 217 miles (350km) beneath the Earth's surface.

As a result of this study, published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, scientists now believe the amount of CO2 in the Earth's upper mantle may be up to 100 trillion metric tons.

In comparison, the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates the global carbon emission in 2011 was nearly 10 billion metric tons – a tiny amount in comparison.

The deep carbon reservoir discovered will eventually make its way to the surface through volcanic eruptions and contribute to climate change albeit very slowly, but a sudden release could have dire consequences.

more at link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... gases.html
On the Windhexe: ''An engineer could not have invented this,'' Winsness says. ''As an engineer, you don't try anything that's theoretically impossible.''
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