Earth's core can contain 70 times more hydrogen than oceans

Experiments at high temperatures and pressures using a diamond anvil and chemical

substances imitating the core of the young Earth, for the first timedemonstrated that hydrogen can bond strongly with iron under extreme conditions. This explains the presence of a large amount of hydrogen in the Earth's core.

Scientists used seismic methods,allowing to determine the composition and density of underground materials. For the entire time of carrying out such measurements, it turned out that the core consists mainly of iron, but its density, in particular the density of the liquid part, is lower than expected.

This led the researchers to the idea that along withwith iron, it should be composed of several light elements. For the first time, researchers have studied the behavior of water in laboratory experiments with metallic iron and silicate compounds that accurately mimic the metal-silicate (core-mantle) reactions during the formation of the Earth. They found that when water meets iron, most of the hydrogen dissolves in the metal, while oxygen reacts with iron to form silicate materials.

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Team led by Professor Kei Hiroseused a metal and hydrous silicate similar to those found in the core and mantle of the Earth and pressed them on a diamond anvil while simultaneously heating the sample with a laser. They used high-resolution imaging to see what was happening in the sample. This allowed them to confirm their hypothesis that hydrogen bonds with iron.

“The fact that hydrogen is siderophilic at highpressure, tells us that most of the water that got to the Earth as a result of catastrophic events during its formation can be in the core in the form of hydrogen. We estimate that there may be up to 70 more hydrogen there than in the oceans. If this amount of matter in the form of water was on land, the planet would be completely covered with water, ”the scientists explained.

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