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Japan Mantle Research Aims to Drill Past Earth's Crust

Japan Mantle Research Aims to Drill Past Earth's Crust

Earth cross section showing its internal structure. Digital illustration. (Andreus/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Wednesday, 12 April 2017 06:09 PM

Japan’s mantle research could make the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) the first research institute ever to successfully drill through the Earth’s crust and reach its mantle.

The mantle is also Located 6 miles beneath the ocean floor, the mantle accounts for about 80 percent of the Earth's mass.

“We don’t know the exact (composition) of the mantle yet. We have only seen some mantle materials – the rock is very beautiful, it’s kind of a yellowish green,” said Natsue Abe, a researcher with JAMSTEC, according to CNN.

If researchers at JAMSTEC are able to get this done, they’ll be able to make new discoveries about how the Earth was formed, Fox News noted. The new findings could also lead to more precise predictions when it comes to preparing for natural disasters.

“In Japan we have some volcanoes, earthquakes and such kind of natural hazards,” Abe said, according to CNN. “People (want to create) some monitoring or analysis equipment but we don’t know…what kind of factor to use.”

“So we need to know the natural system more clearly or precisely…we have to observe the Earth more precisely,” Abe added.

Researchers have three possible locations in mind where they’d like to start the drilling – off the coast of Hawaii, just off of Costa Rica, and near Mexico, Fox News noted.

Chikyu, a Japanese drilling ship that was designed with the capability of drilling seven kilometers into the seabed, will be doing the drilling.

“It’s the biggest drilling ship of our science area, so the drilling capability is three times longer, or deeper, than previous [vessels],” Abe said, according to CNN.

The project isn’t expected to start until around 2030, as there’s still a few hurdles to get past before drilling can begin – obstacles like the cost of the project.

While the Japanese government will be providing some of the funding for this project, it’s still expected to cost as much as $540 million, according to Fox News.

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TheWire
Japan's mantle research could make the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) the first research institute ever to successfully drill through the Earth's crust and reach its mantle.
japan, mantle, research, drill, earth
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2017-09-12
Wednesday, 12 April 2017 06:09 PM
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