New ‘Treasure Map’ Shows Where Earth’s Oldest Water Is Hidden Underground
Scientists have long known that pockets of ancient water exist deep beneath Earth’s surface. But first-of-its-kind new research that shows where the water is located–and just how old it really is–has raised some eyebrows.
“A global picture of just how extensive these deep waters could be has not been done before,” Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar, a professor of earth sciences at the University of Toronto in Canada and the lead author of a paper describing the research, told The Huffington Post in an email. “The paper provides a scientific treasure map of places to go to further investigate the ancient waters and possible subsurface biomes.”
The researchers collected data on ancient subterranean water from 19 mining sites around the world, and mapped out the locations of where these waters flow out of rocks, deep within Earth’s crust below Canada, South Africa, and Scandinavia.
“The waters we sampled range from 1 kilometer below surface to greater than 3 kilometers,” Sherwood Lollar said in the email. “The combination of so deep and so old is what is unexpected.”