The Earth is releasing gases that are several billion years old: A danger to the planet? –

Earth core cutting roomThe traces of helium and neon discovered by geochemists come from the core, the bowels of our planet Earth. Anthony Kaczmarek Anthony Kaczmarek Oct 27, 2023 7:00 a.m. 4 min

I’m sorry to start this article with a dirty sentence, but Yes, the Earth releases gases, and even very old gases! An already known phenomenon, only this time Scientists have discovered traces of gas coming from the gut, the core of our planet. Is that a threat?

Gases trapped in the ore

This group of geochemists drew on earlier ones Olivine dataa type of ore from volcanic lava, from the silicate familyvery present on Baffin Island, the largest island in Canada. These olivines capture neon and especially helium (two noble gases).and the concentration of the latter is 50 times higher than normal.

That was the challenge for the researchers, as they explain in their study published October 18 in the journal Nature Helium is a light gas that is rarely found on the Earth’s surface (It tends to escape into the atmosphere and then drift off into space). Gold, Helium, we have it under our feet because the Earth’s core contains it.

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During his training 4.6 billion years ago, the Earth actually “swallowed” helium: some of it has now been released back into the Earthvolcanic activitybut the great unknown is knowledge How many are left in the bowels of the earth?. So these gases found in the ore certainly escaped from the core of our planet: we still have to prove it!

A very valuable core!

The geochemists then had to do it Make sure these traces of gas do not come from the atmospherethanks to the atomic mass of Helium found. However, the helium analyzed in these lavas contains helium 3HE, much lighter than the helium in the atmosphere. The same goes for neon Over and beyond. So both come from bowels of the earth

Is that then? Threat to our planet? Absolutely not, since the amount emitted by the Earth is tiny. Researchers are also trying to get to the bottom of this Path of these gases underground : What is certain is thisThey were trapped in the core andAs the earth grew, they tried to escape to return to the surface.

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Far from being a danger, These gases will allow us to learn more about them Composition of our planet’s coreand thus from the conditions of his training. The core actually lies beneath thousands of kilometers of dense and hot rock and is completely inaccessible to science. These gas leaks are therefore a essential tool for understanding the origins of the Earth.