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Massachusetts Scientist Tries To Drill Into The Earth's Mantle09:20
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The JOIDES Resolution research vessel is being used in an attempt to drill through the Earth's crust. (Courtesy Peter Blum)
The JOIDES Resolution research vessel is being used in an attempt to drill through the Earth's crust. (Courtesy Peter Blum)
This article is more than 3 years old.

Far off the coast of Madagascar last month, a crew of geologists and scientists drilled deep into the ocean floor.

"We are trying to drill a hole through the crust of the earth, down into the earth's mantle," said Henry Dick, a senior scientist in geology and geophysics at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution aboard the Joides Resolution.

The scientists believe that below the ship at that site, some 2.5 kilometers under the sea floor, is where the barrier between the crust and the mantle is. It's an unexplored boundary that could yield important clues about the earliest life on earth, and about modern-day climate change. Henry Dick and his team are aiming to become the first research team to break through that barrier.

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Henry Dick, senior scientist in geology and geophysics at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, which tweets @WHOImedia.

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Nature: Quest To Drill Into Earth's Mantle Restarts

  • "Jules Verne would have dug this plan: drill into the sea floor, through kilometres of the planet’s rocky crust to penetrate the denser underlying mantle. It is one of geology’s classic quests, conceived almost 60 years ago, at the peak of the plate-tectonics revolution. Since then, many have attempted it and failed."

This segment aired on February 12, 2016.

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