Earthquake reveals mountain ranges ‘bigger than Everest’ buried in Earth
Where Mount Everest were thought to be the biggest mountain ranges globally, a study might prove it wrong as scientists have claimed to find huge mountain ranges buried several kilometers in Earth and could be bigger than Everest.
Unearthed due to one of the biggest earthquakes on record, geologists from Princeton University have discovered massive mountain ranges some 660km deep beneath Earth’s crust in mysterious inner region known as the mantle.
Instead of a peak sticking out with free space above, the rocky landscape grate up against other layers of rock. According to the researchers, these hidden mountains are unlike anything on earth.
“It’s hard to compare them to the mountains we see at the surface. This is a solid-solid boundary, with solid above and solid below,” lead scientist Jessica Irving told The Sun. “They could be as big as Everest, and maybe even bigger.”
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The team examined the mountains with the help of seismic readings taken during a massive earthquake that occurred in Bolivia back in 1994. The magnitude 8.2 quake flared up 660km beneath Earth’s surface.
The seismic waves produced by the quake scatters throughout Earth’s inner layers, providing scientists a unique insight into Earth’s layers. Their calculations showed an amazingly rough boundary equivalent to mountain ranges as per the study published in the journal Science.
Though the researchers weren’t able to measure the precise height of the mountains, they say that it might be bigger than anything on Earth. Moreover, this study could further help researchers about Earth’s formation and reveal more details about the planet’s inner layers, reported New Atlas.
“What’s exciting about these results is that they give us new information to understand the fate of ancient tectonic plates which have descended into the mantle, and where ancient mantle material might still reside,” said Irving.
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