Drill, Baby, Drill

Well, not what you think: Drilling to the earth’s mantle is hard.

This may be about to change with a $1 billion mission to drill 6 km (3.7 miles) beneath the seafloor to reach the Earth’s mantle — a 3000 km-thick layer of slowly deforming rock between the crust and the core which makes up the majority of our planet — and bring back the first ever fresh samples….

The hole they will drill will be just 30 cm in width all the way from the ocean floor to inside the mantle — a monumental engineering feat.

“It will be the equivalent of dangling a steel string the width of a human hair in the deep end of a swimming pool and inserting it into a thimble 1/10 mm wide on the bottom, and then drilling a few meters into the foundations,” says Teagle.

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  • donsands

    Hope they can drill for oil like this. That would bring the gas prices down from $4.69 per 9/10.

  • http://krusekronicle.com Michael W Kruse

    Amazing! But I’m concerned the hole could cause a slow leak and the earth will deflate. 😉

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    As a geologist, I find this very exciting.

    Don, we already drill for oil all over the place, deep and not so deep. However, the cost of developing deep reservoirs is very high. This in turn means that the cost of production will make a sharp drop in oil prices unlikely.

  • DMH

    It’s just a matter of time until we can reach the core… and unleash all things apocalyptic :)

  • Michael Mills

    Thanks Michael (no. 2 above). I needed a good laugh and you provided!!!

  • Brian Roden

    They need to be careful. Don’t want to awaken the Homo reptilius army. #drwhoreference