Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Origin of water on Earth

Blue Marble (NASA)

We can understand that the rocky planet Earth was formed by those gravity forces that concentrated spinning space matter from the Big Bang into Sun and its Solar system.

Okay... Hydrogen nuclear fuel burning, Period Table of Elements from light to heavy, hot cores, rocky crusts, gas planets far out there... Somehow it makes common sense, doesn't it?

But from where the water?


The Creation story in Bible talks about primordial waters that were there in the beginning.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Genesis 1:1-2

The text does not explain from where all that water came from nor does it explicitly mention that God created water in the style "and God said Let there be water".

The primordial water just is there.

Water of Life
Water, one of the most amazing works of God!

So important that we cannot even grasp how important. Let us just remember that two-thirds of us humans is water and two thirds of planet Earth is covered by it.

Modern natural sciences tend to focus on water as the place where life most likely originated. Researchers note that the melting of the North and South Pole ice caps in early Cambrian raised water levels around the globe and created lacunae and shallow beaches where life might have prospered.

Billion dollar Mars explorer Curiosity myBlog will be joining the frantic look for signs of water in the Red Planet because it is the elixir of life. (Actually it looks that some evidence has been found that once - very long ago - there was water on Mars and thus possibly also life. Maybe also on Keppler 22b myBlog.)

The structure of that most amazing stuff, water, is a kind of trinity: two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom bonded together into a molecule.

The molecule of water 
(From a very nice page on water ref)

But whence the all important water?

Origins of water on Earth

APOD NASA All the water!

Geologists make things even more mysterious by telling us that the deep structures under oceans are different from the structures under continental plates. Go figure how this happened.

Wikipedia informs us that some of the most likely contributory factors to the origin of the Earth's oceans are as follows:
  • The cooling of the primordial Earth to the point where the outgassed volatile components were held in an atmosphere of sufficient pressure for the stabilization and retention of liquid water.
  • Comets, trans-Neptunian objects or water-rich meteorites (protoplanets) from the outer reaches of the main asteroid belt colliding with the Earth may have brought water to the world's oceans.
  • Measurements of the ratio of the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and protium point to asteroids, since similar percentage impurities in carbon-rich chondrites were found to oceanic water, whereas previous measurement of the isotopes' concentrations in comets and trans-Neptunian objects correspond only slightly to water on the earth.
  • Biochemically through mineralization and photosynthesis.
  • Gradual leakage of water stored in hydrous minerals of the Earth's rocks.
  • Photolysis: radiation can break down chemical bonds on the surface
In other words... we do not really know.


Otto Edler von Graeve (1872-1948)

Origins of water on earth is still a mystery and water itself is rather mysterious substance.

Have you ever seen water-dowsing and that gifted person with a rod in his or her hand?

And the strangest thing... it works as if the underground water veins were radiating something that the dead branch of tree senses.

What? How?

Nobody really knows.

Extraterrestrial origins of water
But things get even more esoteric with water. Llisten to this stuff deriving from the serious scientific mind of A.Morbidelli in Meteoritics and Planetary Science 2000:

That the Earth's water originated purely from comets is implausible, as a result of measurements of the isotope ratios of hydrogen in the three comets Halley, Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp by researchers like David Jewitt, as according to this research the ratio of deuterium to protium (D/H ratio) of the comets is approximately double that of oceanic water.

What is however unclear is whether these comets are representative of those from the Kuiper Belt. According to A. Morbidelli the largest part of today's water comes from protoplanets formed in the outer asteroid belt that plunged towards the Earth, as indicated by the D/H proportions in carbon-rich chondrites.

The water in carbon-rich chondrites point to a similar D/H ratio as oceanic water. Nevertheless, mechanisms have been proposed to suggest that the D/H-ratio of oceanic water may have increased significantly throughout Earth's history. Such a proposal is consistent with the possibility that a significant amount of the water on Earth was already present during the planet's early evolution.

Glass of water

We do not know where water came from, what it really is and intensive scientific research goes on.

But one thing we do know - drinking fresh water is generally good for you and me.

Bible suggests that making it possible for a thirsty child or adult to drink clean water is even better for you and me.

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