It has been established that the mantle of the Earth contains about the same amount of water as all the oceans of the planet, but it is difficult to understand how this water behaves. Water in the mantle exists at high pressure and at elevated temperatures, which are difficult to recreate in the laboratory. If scientists can better understand the behavior of fluids in the core of the earth, they will draw conclusions about the effects of the carbon cycle on climate change. Information about the new development is published in the journal Nature.
A team of scientists from the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago and the University of California at Davis has created a comprehensive computer simulation that will allow better study of the properties of salt contained in the water in the Earth’s mantle.
This is fundamental to understanding chemical reactions in the mantle of the Earth.Professor Juan J. de Pablo of the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago
Combining modeling methods developed by three research groups and using complex codes, the team created a saltwater model based on quantum-mechanical calculations. Using the developed model, the researchers discovered key molecular changes related to the state of water.
Thanks to the developed model, scientists have found that the dissociation of water, resulting from high pressures and temperatures in the Earth’s mantle, affects how water interacts with salt. Based on this, conclusions can be drawn about how water moves.
The research continues, scientists at the moment are still considering the properties of chemistry, which lies deep beneath the Earth.