A new study suggests that some Earth’s surface features may be made up of trapped gases, and suggest that some of those gases may be trapped in the mantle.
The research was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
The team, led by researchers at the University of Oxford and at the UK’s University of Leeds, analyzed a set of images taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope that showed a spiral tube of the Earth.
In a new study, the researchers suggest that the spiral tubes may be formed by trapped gases in the surface of the mantle that have been transported in from space by the movement of a giant gravitational field.
These trapped gases would have to travel through a narrow space, called a “circuit”, before arriving at the surface and interacting with the atmosphere to form a surface.
This process would take time, as they would travel through the Earth at a relatively high speed, but they could eventually be removed from the Earth by a massive impact or by the cooling of the surrounding planet.
“There is currently a lot of debate over whether we see any signs of the formation of the circulations in the outer planets,” said Dr. Simon Bowers, lead author of the paper.
“We suggest that this circulations is the result of the motion of a large mass, possibly the Earth, and that the formation is a consequence of the mass and momentum of the giant planet.”
The researchers have not been able to establish whether the gas in the spiral tunnels is the same that is used in Earth’s core. “
It has huge implications for understanding the formation and evolution of planetary bodies, including the origin and evolution, of planetary systems.”
The researchers have not been able to establish whether the gas in the spiral tunnels is the same that is used in Earth’s core.
However, it is known that the Earth has a core with several layers of rock and rock-like materials, including gas and dust, which may act as conduits for trapped gases.
While the researchers have identified a number of regions of the spiral-tube-ducts that they believe have been formed by a large impact or cooled planet-wide, they are still unsure whether these gas-filled chambers were also created by a mass-driven impact.
The researchers suggest there is a strong possibility that these gas chambers may also be the result, at least in part, of the heating and cooling of a planet-mass object.
“We think that there is likely a good possibility that some or all of the trapped gases may have come from the mantle,” said Professor Darrick L. Loehr of the University at Albany.
“The heat from the impact and cooling process may have heated and cooled the surrounding rock layers, and those trapped gases could have then been transported into the surface by gravity to form the spiral tunnel.”
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