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Science. 2015 Nov 13;350(6262):795-7. doi: 10.1126/science.aac4834.

Evidence for primordial water in Earth's deep mantle.

Author information

1
NASA Astrobiology Institute, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai'i, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822-1839, USA. Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, Pacific Ocean Science and Technology (POST) Building, University of Hawai'i, 1680 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA. lydia.hallis@glasgow.ac.uk.
2
NASA Astrobiology Institute, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai'i, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822-1839, USA. Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, Pacific Ocean Science and Technology (POST) Building, University of Hawai'i, 1680 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.
3
Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, Pacific Ocean Science and Technology (POST) Building, University of Hawai'i, 1680 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.
4
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0244, USA.
5
Department of Oceanography, University of Hawai'i, Marine Sciences Building 304, 1000 Pope Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.
6
NASA Astrobiology Institute, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai'i, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822-1839, USA. Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai'i, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.

Abstract

The hydrogen-isotope [deuterium/hydrogen (D/H)] ratio of Earth can be used to constrain the origin of its water. However, the most accessible reservoir, Earth's oceans, may no longer represent the original (primordial) D/H ratio, owing to changes caused by water cycling between the surface and the interior. Thus, a reservoir completely isolated from surface processes is required to define Earth's original D/H signature. Here we present data for Baffin Island and Icelandic lavas, which suggest that the deep mantle has a low D/H ratio (δD more negative than -218 per mil). Such strongly negative values indicate the existence of a component within Earth's interior that inherited its D/H ratio directly from the protosolar nebula.

PMID:
26564850
DOI:
10.1126/science.aac4834
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