Digging into the Past: China's Ambitious 10,000-Meter Hole to the Cretaceous System

Digging into the Past: China's Ambitious 10,000-Meter Hole to the Cretaceous System

China has embarked on a groundbreaking project to dig a 10,000-meter hole into the Earth's crust to reach rocks from the Cretaceous period.

The project aims to reach rocks from the Cretaceous period, which date back up to 145 million years.

The team of scientists hopes to identify mineral resources and assess environmental risks like the likelihood of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The project could also help in the study of the Earth's geological processes, including plate tectonics.

The Cretaceous System is a geological layer composed of sedimentary rocks that date back to the Cretaceous period, which spanned from 145 million to 66 million years ago.

During this time, the Earth experienced significant changes, including the formation of the supercontinent Pangaea and the emergence of new species like the dinosaurs.

The Kola Superdeep Borehole in northwestern Russia is currently the deepest human-made hole on Earth, reaching a depth of 11,034 meters (36,201 feet) below sea level.

However, the Chinese project aims to break new ground in deep drilling by attempting to reach a depth of 10,000 meters, surpassing the current record of 11,034 meters.

Digging into the Earth's crust is a complex and challenging task, and the Chinese project is no different.

The team will have to dig through ten layers of rock to reach the Cretaceous System, a task that has never been attempted before.

The construction difficulty of the drilling project, according to Sun Jinsheng, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, can be compared to a big truck driving on two thin steel cables.

The scientists have found that the rocks deep below the Earth's surface are a lot wetter than they were expecting.

Before the borehole found it, scientists had thought the water would not permeate the rock so deeply.

They had also been expecting to find a layer of basalt beneath the continent's granite, as this is what was found in the oceanic crust.

Instead, they found that beneath the igneous granite was metamorphic granite, which was evidence for plate tectonics.

While the project still has a long way to go, the discoveries made so far have been groundbreaking and exciting for the scientific community.

However, we are still far from reaching the Earth's mantle, which would require a much deeper hole than the current project.

Digging into the Earth's crust does not always go smoothly, and the American team in the 1960s reached only 183 meters beneath the seafloor before their project was canceled.

In conclusion, China's ambitious 10,000-meter hole to the Cretaceous System is a groundbreaking undertaking that could help us understand the Earth's geological processes.

The discoveries made so far have been exciting, and we look forward to learning more about the Earth's history and evolution.