Japanese Scientists Aim To Reach The Earth's Mantle Using The Largest Drilling Ship

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Apr 11, 2017 08:04 AM EDT

A team of international researchers will utilize Chikyu in drilling the Earth's mantle. (Photo : Chief Mass Communication Specialist Christopher Delano/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

A joint project of international researchers aims to drill the Earth's mantle for the first time. They will be using Japan's Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology's (JAMSTEC), which is the largest drilling ship called "Chikyu."

According to CNN, the Japanese scientists want to be the first team to drill successfully the Earth's mantle. "If we dig into the mantle we will know the whole Earth history, that's our motivation to search," Natsue Abe, one of the researchers told the news oultet. "We don't know the exact (composition) of the mantle yet. We have only seen some mantle materials -- the rock is very beautiful, it's kind of a yellowish green," Abe added.

Chikyu will be dropped traveling four kilometers of the ocean water. From that, the drill will then make a hole down through the planet's crust with a distance of six kilometers to reach the Earth's mantle.

According to Engadget, the JAMSTEC-led team is going to survey the waters off Hawaii to see if it's suited for Chikyu to reach the Earth’s mantle. The researchers will start their preliminary study of location this September for two weeks. They have also other choices such as the waters off Costa Rica, and off Mexico, if the initial spot failed.

The Erath's mantle comprised about 84 percent of the planet's volume. It's a silicate rocky shell that flows slowly affecting the movement of tectonic dishes that induces earthquakes. Aside from that, the mantle also affects volcanic activity.

The Japanese government is supporting the project in a likelihood that it will succeed in determining the planet's exterior phenomena. It will be providing a partial financial support for the Earth's mantle drilling.

Furthermore, the researchers want to know how the crust was formed and to discover if microorganisms could live deep in the Earth’s mantle. The team perceives 2030 to begin the drilling project, which requires $542 million budget.

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