Geoscientists have achieved a remarkable milestone in their quest to explore the Earth's deep mantle. Using the drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution, researchers collected pieces of Earth's rocky mantle from beneath the North Atlantic Ocean floor at the Atlantis Massif. This underwater mountain, located on a unique "tectonic window" of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, provided rare access to mantle rocks brought closer to the surface through ultra-slow seafloor spreading. Although they did not reach the mantle itself, the team recovered the deepest mantle rock ever obtained, with samples reaching a depth of 4,157 feet. This groundbreaking achievement will provide valuable data for future scientific studies on the origin of life and insights into the composition and behavior of the Earth's mantle.
Photo Credit: NASA