Scientists have found that for billions of years, molten iron is gradually disappearing from the heart of our planet.
For scientists, it remains a mystery what is happening in the very heart of our planet. Nobody has penetrated deep enough even into the stone mantle of the Earth, not to mention its iron core, so we can only guess about its physical properties. This is because it is located at a colossal depth of about 2900 kilometers, so that no modern technological equipment can even get close to its surface.
However, a new study showed that the core actually pushes molten iron into the upper layers of the mantle, which are a thousand degrees colder. And this is extremely interesting, because the fact of the exchange of matter between the mantle and the nucleus has long been a big question.
The most striking evidence that in the center of our planet is a molten core of iron is, of course, a powerful magnetic field of the planet. In addition, samples of mantle rocks, which somehow get to the surface as a result of volcanic activity, contain a significant amount of iron – it becomes obvious that it got into the rock from the core.
To get some idea of whether this is possible, the researchers conducted experiments in the laboratory showing how iron isotopes move between regions with different temperatures under high pressure and intense heating. Using this information to create a computer model, scientists have successfully proved that heavy isotopes of iron can still migrate from the Earth’s hot core to the colder mantle. Accordingly, in turn, light iron isotopes will do the opposite and go from cold to hot back to the core – this is how the exchange takes place.
According to the researchers, iron isotopes have been seeping from the core into the mantle for billions of years. The question is, will this circumstance affect our planet in the long run? The authors admit that for the lack of data their theory may not coincide with the real picture of events, so such predictions are the destiny of theoretical speculation.