China is digging a 10km hole to study the earth's crust



by LORENZO CIOTTI

China is digging a 10km hole to study the earth's crust

China has begun digging a 10-kilometer-deep hole in the earth's crust in the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang province to study the earth's crust. Until now, the deepest man-made hole on Earth is the Kola superdeep well on the Kola Peninsula in Russia, which was drilled between 1970 and 1992.

The well reached a depth of 12,262 meters and was aimed at studying the earth's crust and mantle. However, the team faced several challenges during the project, including high temperatures of up to 180 degrees, as well as continued drill bit breakage, caused by the increasing strength of the rocks as deeper and deeper depths were drilled.

The Chinese team will dig deep into the Earth, in the hope of being able to reconstruct the history of the Earth's continents. Wang Chunsheng, a technical expert who took part in the operation, said: "Wang Chunsheng, a technical expert who took part in the operation." It is possible that, by delving into the depths of the Earth, the research team will be able to identify and study ancient life forms that have now been extinct for millions of years.

Some info About the earth's crust

The earth's crust can be divided into continental and oceanic, and constitutes the outermost layer. Below is the Earth's mantle, which extends to a depth of 2890 km. Still below, and up to the center of the Earth (6371 km from the surface) is the core.

The lower limit of the earth's crust is a well-defined surface marked by both physical and chemical changes. From a petrographic point of view, the crust-mantle interface is defined as the transition between rocks that contain feldspar and those that do not.

The crust therefore differs from the mantle because its crystalline rocks are predominantly acidic or basic, while those of the mantle are ultrabasic. The crust is, of course, the only part of the Earth that contains sedimentary rocks.

There is also a physical discontinuity that distinguishes the crust from the mantle: it is a transition zone between rocks with a low velocity propagation of seismic waves and rocks with a high velocity. This discontinuity is called the Mohorovicic discontinuity, often abbreviated to Moho.