Originof Earths Water(Theories)
Originof Earths Water (Theories)
Waterhas remained one of the most used commodities by man. From ageographical point of view, the 3 parts out of 4, of the world’s issurface are covered by water. The more astonishing point is that, ofthe total water globally, 97% of water is found in oceans and seas(Krebs,2003).From the above simple representation of water on the earth, onequestion that comes along is where does all that water come from?There have been different theories coined to explain the sources ofwater. This paper focuses on three theories that attempts to explainthe source of water.
Oneof the theories with reference to the origin of water is the BingBang Theory.According to thistheory, the earth was formed from very hot materials. The materialsreleased constituent matter, among which was Hydrogen and Oxygen,which are chemically the two elements that combine to produce water.As time went by, these materials cooled and combined to form water(Krebs,2003).This water then collected into oceans. This theory draws its strengthfrom the fact that the stars and many other heavenly bodies consistshuge amounts of incandescent gases (hydrogen and helium). However,this theory does not explain fully where the hot materialsoriginated.
Secondly,there is the theory of HydrateMinerals.Withreference to this theory, the Earth was formed with traces of waterbasically fused to the mineral deposits within the earth’scovering. This water gradually leaks and collects to form the oceans,and other water bodies. This theory is supported by the fact that theEarth’s covering or the mantle is believed to hold between 3 to 6times as much water as that in the oceans, therefore it can bethought the earth’s surface water originates from the earth’scentre (inside) (Simons& Wellnitz, 2002).Still, this theory does not give a proper account of how that waterin the mantle formed.
Finally,there is the VolcanicActivity Theorythatexplains the source of water into the earth’s surface.Accordingto Earth Scientists, soon after the solar system was formed, thecovering of the earth was divided into three different regions whichare the crust, mantle, and finally the core. It emitted volatilesthrough volcanic activity. The volatiles were trapped deep in Earth’smaterials and could only be released when the containing rocks weresubjected to heating and melted. Volatiles like methane and sulphurexisted in form of gases, but for the case of water vapour, it formedwater through condensation process. The theory is supported by thefact that volcanic eruptions release different products with watervapour being part of the emission (Simons& Wellnitz, 2002).However, a major weakness appears as the hot fumes could have escapedsince there was no atmosphere to trap them.
Insummary, different theories have been used to explain the sources ofthe water into the earth’s surface. Looking into the abovediscussed theories, it is clear that no theory is sufficient inexplaining the origin of water and oceans. However, the hypothesis ofhydrated minerals provides a stronger explanation as to where thewater on the Earth’s oceans came from. If the mantle contains watereven now, then it could be the source of our ocean water.
Krebs,R. E. (2003). Thebasics of earth science.Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Simons,B. B., & Wellnitz, T. R. (2002). Earth`swaters.New Jersey: Prentice Hall.