TED Conversations

Jan de Boer

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Lets reconsider the basics of several sciences. Step 1. The crust of our Earth is floating on...... On what?

Several sciences are based on incorrect assumptions.
That could be expected. We are all suffering sometimes from tunnel vision, blind spots, not-made-here, political correctness, stubbornness and so on.
So, lets have a look at some “facts”, decide what is wrong about them and leave it to the scientists to tie up the loose ends in a proper scientific way.

They told us at school: “The crust of our Earth is floating on liquid magma.”..... Is that true?
How do you tackle this question?
My way is to estimate the conditions at the underside of the tectonic plates.
First the pressure. Taking in account their thickness, the specific weight of the materials, I come to a pressure of some 20,000 bar plus or minus a few thousands.
Second the temperature. Taking in account their thickness and the temperature gradient I come to a temperature of some 2,000°C plus or minus a few hundreds.
Third, the nature of the material below the crust. If this material is liquid, then the heavier materials will sink down and the lighter materials will move up.
Given the fact that Earth is old, the segregation must have been completed long ago.
Lets look at the lighter atoms and molecules. Most of them are well above their critical point even at 1,000°C and therefor not liquid but gas. Examples are hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, sulpher, sodium and above all carbon-dioxide and water.
An average volcano emits some 500 tons CO2 per hour. There are some 1,500 active volcanoes. Add the emission of sleeping and dead volcanoes and you get a total emission of some ten billion tons CO2 each year. This has been going on for a few billion years, so the crust of our Earth is not floating on liquid lava, but is, like a hovercraft, floating on gas. A mixture of gases, so hot that they are ionized and many are dissociated.

Do you agree so far? If not, proof that I'm wrong.

Next, step 2: Voyage to the center of the Earth.

0
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    May 18 2012: " If this material is liquid, then the heavier materials will sink down and the lighter materials will move up. "

    And if this material were gas?
    You can't be proven wrong until you put some kind of explanation on the table. But never mind that. I'd like to jump to step two. Take me to the center of the Earth.
    • May 19 2012: All material will segregate according to their specific weight. some materials will mix, others, like water and fat will not mix. Gases will always mix. You can see hat in the sky, clouds, rain, hail. Under the crust, where the specific weights are in the range of tons/m3, it seems possible that there might exist clouds of molten sand.
      Step to will go to the central core.
      Step 3 is about the central core and there things are really weird.
      • Timo X

        • +1
        May 20 2012: "Gases will always mix. You can see hat in the sky, clouds, rain, hail."
        If gases always mix, how is it possible to see clouds?
        http://www.sadanduseless.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/312.jpg
        • May 22 2012: Hi Timo
          Sorry, you are right, I made an error here.
          The gases will always mix. Then I wanted to say that, similar to the clouds in the sky, there might be clouds of molten material floating in the high pressure gas under the crust.
    • thumb
      May 20 2012: Gravity causes more dense materials (metals) to sink towards the center of the earth and less dense materials (gases) toward the surface. I know what you're thinking, "what about volcanic gas?". Most volcanic gases are dissolved in the liquid magma until the pressure drops enough (when it gets to the surface as lava) in order for the gases to separate from the liquid.
      • thumb
        May 20 2012: Ah...that is right, totally forgot about density and gravity. Thank you for the reminder Christopher. =)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.