Digging Very Deep Holes

uair01

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#1
It's a bit off subject, but there is an exhibition about a Dutch visionary architect from the 1920's. One of his plans was to dig a hole 15 miles deep into the earth so that people could experience the innards of the earth.

"Plan the Impossible", design for a research center with a 15 mile deep shaft, 1944, Hendrik Th. Wijdeveld.
Picture here (on the top left of the page):
http://www.nai.nl/e/calendar/activities/wijdeveld_e.html

But AFAIK this is the deepest attempt to date:

Scientist said this week they had drilled into the lower section of Earth's crust for the first time and were poised to break through to the mantle in coming years.

The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) seeks the elusive "Moho," a boundary formally known as the Mohorovicic discontinuity. It marks the division between Earth's brittle outer crust and the hotter, softer mantle.

The depth of the Moho varies. This latest effort, which drilled 4,644 feet (1,416 meters) below the ocean seafloor, appears to have been 1,000 feet off to the side of where it needed to be to pierce the Moho, according to one reading of seismic data used to map the crust's varying thickness.
http://www.livescience.com/technology/050407_earth_drill.html

Off topict but still Fortean note: You might also enjoy this architects "vagina shaped" design for a public theatre for the masses. It's on the same webpage, staring you in the face :)
 
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#2
I thought it well worth splitting this one off from the volcano thread to make its own one as it is an interesting topic in itself.
 

TinFinger

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#3
ok so if they do actually get the depth/position of the hole correct am i right in assuming they would be creating a volcano?
 
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#4
Its doubtful - volcanos need a constant source of magma so they are found at plate boundaries or over hotspots.

The deep drilling experience tends to suggest that as you get deep things get hotter and the hole starts closing over (actually I think I saw that film ;) ).

Then again if you got unlucky you could make an awful mess!!!
 

OldTimeRadio

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#6
I don't mean to rain on anyone's subterranean parade here, but if you DO manage to dig a hole 15 miles deep, what kind of rope, cable, chain, etc., do you use to reach the bottom that will not break or explode under its own weight?

This came up for discussion on Yahoogroups Fortean lists a number of years back as we considered the claim made by "Mel," of "Mel's Hole" fame, that h'd dropped 18 miles of WEIGHTED fishing line down his Hole, without ever reaching the bottom. Over a couple of months of discussion we established that there's not a string in existence which wouldn't break under its own weight at that length, with or without a weight at the end. And we then realized that ropes, chains, and so forth would all reach their tensile limits a LONG time before such a depth was attained.

So how would you get people down to that 15-mile depth and bring them up again?
 

Peripart

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#7
A series of short ladders bolted to the side as you go down ought to do it, surely? Although I'm sure that idea has plenty of flaws which you'll now point out!
 

OldTimeRadio

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#8
Peripart said:
"A series of short ladders bolted to the side as you go down ought to do it, surely? Although I'm sure that idea has plenty of flaws which you'll now point out!"
No flaws that I can see. Peripart. Save that climbing down a 15-mile-long ladder might not be the pleasantest of experiences, and then you have to climb UP again!

I once wore myself out for the rest of the day by climbing DOWN the stairs of the Washington Monument. (I was 34 at the time.) And that's only a quarter mile or so, with all sorts of interesting historical slabs and markers to look at on the way.

PS But the ascent from our 15-mile-deep hole could possibly be accomplished with aid of a helium balloon. Or you could have an elevator car that rode along sectioned rails bolted to the sides of the shaft with the motive power being carried by those same rails.
 

rynner2

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#9
The sea reveals what lies beneath
A new programme to drill into the Earth hopes to penetrate further than ever before
By Steve Jones
8:52AM BST 03 Sep 2013

The deepest hole ever made is more than 40 years old, and quite dead. In 1970, the Soviet Union began to drill on the Kola Peninsula, close to the Finnish border, in an attempt to penetrate the skin of the Earth. Ten years later, the drill passed the six-mile record then held by a hole in Oklahoma made by an oil company, which failed when its drill bit hit a lake of molten sulphur. Five more years took it to seven-and-a-half miles – but then the temperature rose so high that to go any further would have melted the bit. In 2008, the money ran out and the site was abandoned (although some fundamentalists still cite the hoax that the drill was stopped because it had broken into Hell itself). 8)

Now, a new programme of ocean drilling is under way, attempting to reach parts of the planet’s interior never before penetrated. The problem with drilling on land is that the Earth’s outermost layer – the crust – is so thick that there is little chance of getting through.

Under the sea, however, its intimate secrets are easier to probe. A century ago, the Croatian meteorologist Andrija Mohorovicic was studying the shock waves made by earthquakes as they passed through the continents. He noticed that the waves travelled much faster through the rock about 35 miles below the surface than they did above that depth. That shift – the Mohorovicic discontinuity, or “Moho” – hinted that the Earth has distinct layers of rock above its liquid metallic core, with the Moho forming the boundary between the outer crust (which makes up less than one hundredth of its mass) and an inner zone called the mantle.

Beneath the deep oceans, where the surface is younger and thinner as it has been extruded from the molten depths, the Moho may be less than four miles down. In 1957, the Americans set out to penetrate it in a deep trench off Mexico, and did manage to extract a short core of mantle. However, the project was plagued with difficulties in keeping the ship in place and manipulating the drill through two miles of water, and was abandoned.

With GPS, and today’s oil-well technology, both those problems have been solved – so the International Ocean Discovery Programme has set out to break through the Moho and find what lies below. It is now investigating sites off Hawaii, California and Baja California, to find the right balance between new, thin (but hot) crust and older, thicker, but cooler material that will not melt the drill. Already the Baja hole has reached roughly a mile down.

One aim is to work out the role in the global carbon cycle of the liquid that bubbles from the mantle at the ocean ridges; another is to insert sensors into the hole to check the temperature, pressure and intestinal movements of our planet. The geologists hope to examine the mantle’s balance of metallic elements, which may be depleted in platinum, gold, cobalt and others that have been sucked in by the liquid iron core.

Biologists are involved, too. Already, single living cells have been found more than a mile below the sea floor, and we know that bacteria from ocean vents can survive at 115C; which means that, in principle at least, they or their relatives could exist three miles below the surface. It might hint at what the first life, on a searing-hot planet more than four billion years ago, looked like.

As Roy Livermore points out elsewhere on this page, plate tectonics has explained many once-baffling observations about the Earth. Fifty years after Drummond Matthews and Frederick Vine’s discovery, these giant drills are revealing more truths about our planet, and this time in 3D.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/stev ... neath.html
 

EnolaGaia

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#10
The deepest hole ever made is more than 40 years old, and quite dead. In 1970, the Soviet Union began to drill on the Kola Peninsula, close to the Finnish border, in an attempt to penetrate the skin of the Earth. Ten years later, the drill passed the six-mile record then held by a hole in Oklahoma made by an oil company, which failed when its drill bit hit a lake of molten sulphur. Five more years took it to seven-and-a-half miles – but then the temperature rose so high that to go any further would have melted the bit. In 2008, the money ran out and the site was abandoned (although some fundamentalists still cite the hoax that the drill was stopped because it had broken into Hell itself). ...
Update ... The Kola Superdeep Borehole still holds the record for the deepest hole we've bored into the planet ...

Welcome to The Deepest Hole on The Entire Planet

Deep in western Russia, if you know where to look, you'll find a small collection of ragged scrap metal and crumbled concrete. Which isn't that exciting.

But if you rifle through the rubble, you will find a large metal disc bolted to the ground. This isn't just any old disc - it's the welded-shut cap of a borehole that plummets more than 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) into the Earth.

How deep is 12 kilometres, comparatively? Deeper than the deepest point of the ocean - the Mariana Trench. In fact, this is the deepest hole we've ever dug into our planet.

It's called the Kola Superdeep Borehole, and for once, it has nothing to do with extracting fossil fuels. The borehole exists purely for the wonderful science of it all.

When Soviet scientists started drilling down into Earth's surface during the 1970s, they did it to find out more about the contents of the planet's crust.

"Because the truth is, we know less about what's under our feet than what's on the other side of the Solar System," explains Hank Green in this 2014 episode of SciShow.

Over the next 24 years, these scientists kept at it on and off; while they didn't get down as far as they were hoping, by 1994 they'd made it just over 12 kilometres. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/welcome-to-the-deepest-hole-on-the-entire-planet
(Includes Photos and a Video)
 
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