Scientists Estimate Volume of World’s Oldest Water (Video)

By Epoch Video
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December 19, 2014 Updated: December 19, 2014

A new study by scientists from the University of Toronto, Princeton University and the University of Oxford changes the estimate of not only much water exists in the Earth’s crust, but also how much hydrogen is being produced by that water.

Data from the study indicates there is around two and a half million cubic miles of water buried deep underground which may be capable of sustaining life.

The researchers state this underground water, some of which has been identified as the oldest in the world at 1 to 2.6 billion years, has more volume than all of the rivers, lakes, and swamps on Earth put together.

Data from 19 mine sites was analyzed to find out how much hydrogen is being produced by chemical reactions that are happening between the water and rocks underground.

Previous studies had underestimated how much hydrogen was coming from the Earth’s crust. The latest data shows that it is almost equal with the amount being produced by the oceanic crust.

Professor Barbara Sherwood Lollar from the University of Toronto, in Canada, is quoted as saying: “It gives us a quantum change in our understanding of how much of the Earth’s crust might indeed be habitable and have enough energy to sustain subsurface life.”

Back in 2013, Lollar and her colleagues reportedly found the oldest water about one and half miles below the surface of a deep mine in Canada.

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