Another voyage to the center of the Earth? Skip to content

Another voyage to the center of the Earth?

Geoscientists in the US have put forth an idea to use a nuclear bomb to explode a hole in earth’s crust in Iceland. The purpose would be to sink a transmitter down to the core of the earth to investigate its’ nature.

Investigating the inner structure of the earth has long been a dream. During the 19th century the French writer, Jules Verne made the glacier Snæfellsjökull famous when he made it the gate to the middle of the earth in his novel “Voyage to the center of the earth”.

The US geoscientist, Marvin Herndon, has proposed theories that the core of the earth contains much uranium and is a natural nuclear reactor. The theories have been published in respected US science journals, for example, the magazine of the US Science Academy. Few geoscientist agree with Herndon, most believe that the core of the earth is primarily made of iron.

One of Herndon’s opponents is geophysists David Stevenson at Caltech. He says that the only way to find out the truth in this matter is to make the appropriate measurements. He has published papers in the science journal Nature where he proposes cracking Earth’s crust by a nuclear bomb. The crack is to be filled with molten iron and measuring devices embedded within. The molten iron will then gravitate to the center of the earth, sinking the equipment with it.

Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson geophysists says that the idea is good but had doubts both whether using a nuclear bomb would be the best way to crack Earth’s crust and whether Iceland would be the most suitable place.

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