Deep Earth carbon cycles cracked

Carbon modelling is easier to create for surface cycles, but deep in the Earth’s crust things become a lot more difficult to study. Scientists may have cracked an initial problem, giving greater insight into how carbon sinks and surfaces.

The dielectric constant shows how easily minerals dissolve in water, but deep underground the data become difficult to measure. It is believed that trapped carbonate (in the form of shells) sinks into the mantle before escaping again through volcanoes, but there was no hard evidence.

Geochemists using predicted deep Earth dielectric models have shown that this process is possible, as the previously insoluble carbonates do dissolve slightly under extreme pressures. This model can be used as a preliminary step towards understanding the workings of the inner Earth.

Read more at UC Davis