Under the Earth there are mountains — they are higher than may seem

The landscape of the Earth was incredibly diverse: on its surface is as smooth plains and deep trenches and huge mountains. The study showed geophysicists from the US and China, all this is nothing compared to the views at depths of hundreds of kilometers beneath our feet. They believe that there is an array of huge mountains, whose height exceeds the height of 1916 m high mountain system of the Appalachians.

This discovery was made in the course of study of strong earthquakes in 1994 occurred in Bolivia. Archival data showed that his tremors were so powerful that their waves reached a depth of 410-660 kilometers. There is a layer of Earth called the “transition zone” — the boundary between the upper and lower mantle of the planet. Having studied the reflection of seismic waves from underground surfaces, the scientists were able to create a vision of a subterranean structure.

It turned out that the upper boundary of the zone at a depth of 410 kilometers, has a relatively smooth surface. However, the surface at a depth of 660 kilometers were very rough, with sharp changes in elevation up to 3.2 km. Based on these data it has been suggested that the depths of the Earth have much more variation than the surface.

We can’t exactly calculate their height, but it seems that they are higher than any mountain on Earth.

Wenbo Wu, Institute of Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

The presence of such topography suggests that rocks of the lower layer of the mantle is practically not mixed with the solid shell of the Earth. It turns out that since the formation of the planet, they have survived almost intact. The researchers intend to continue the research to reveal the historical processes of the formation of the Earth.