Are there volcanic tubes that could possibly lead an exploration to the center of the Earth as stated by Jules Verne in the movie "Journey to the Center of the Earth?
closed as off-topic by phantom42, System Down, NominSim, Monty129, The Fallen Aug 23 '13 at 13:05
This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:
- "Questions seeking scientific solutions or explanations are off-topic unless they relate directly to a cited work of fiction. There are a number of other Stack Exchange sites dedicated to answering questions on non-fictional sciences." – phantom42, System Down, NominSim, Monty129, The Fallen
While science fiction novels and movies like to present the idea of a means of reaching the Earth's core, the actual physics of the Earth won't allow such a journey to take place. The Earth's Crust is like the skin of an apple. It is very thin in comparison to the other three layers, the mantle, the outer core and the inner core.
Two of the primary issues that prevent exploration of the core of the Earth are heat and pressure. The deeper we go into the Earth, the hotter it gets and the greater the pressure required to penetrate the rocky materials.
The crust is only about 3-5 miles (8 kilometers) thick under the oceans (oceanic crust) and about 25 miles (32 kilometers) thick under the continents (continental crust).
The temperatures of the crust vary from air temperature on top to about 1600 degrees Fahrenheit (870 degrees Celcius) in the deepest parts of the crust. You can bake a loaf of bread in your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, at 1600 degrees F. rocks begin to melt.
At our maximum depth, in the Kola Superdeep Borehole, the temperature was over 350 degrees (F) and the pressure exerted by the rock beneath the drill bit made it impossible for even diamond-tipped drills to go any further.
- The Earth is made primarily of a variety of rock like layers with the first and closest to us being called the crust. As humans we have never managed to drill more than 22 miles into the crust of the Earth. If we were to find a means to drill into the Earth, the pressure would make it impossible for humans to descend unaided in a fashion similar to a deep sea diver.
The deepest hole in the world is the Kola borehole which penetrated about a third of the way through the Baltic continental crust, estimated to be around 35 kilometres (22 mi) deep, reaching rocks of Archaean age (greater than 2.5 billion years old) at the bottom. The project was closed down in late 2005 because of lack of funding. All the drilling and research equipment was scrapped and the site has been abandoned since 2008.
Movies like The Core tried to skirt around these issues by create a drilling system which used super-hot lasers in the front of and all along the body of a ship designed from an impossible compound which grew stronger as pressure was exerted on it.
Essentially their ship design was supposed to essentially create a tubule of molten rock until they could reach the more liquid portions of our planet's inner core. (In effect, borrowing from Verne's idea just a bit.)
Unfortunately, no such material exists currently which could stand the pressures being exerted at the Earth's core which would be thousands of tons per square centimeter.