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The Mohorovičić discontinuity (Croatian pronunciation: [mɔhɔˈrɔvitʃitɕ]), usually referred to as the Moho, is the boundary between the Earth's crust and the mantle. The Moho separates both oceanic crust and continental crust from underlying mantle. The Moho mostly lies entirely within the lithosphere; only beneath mid-ocean ridges does it define the lithosphere –asthenosphere boundary. The Mohorovičić discontinuity was first identified in 1909 by Andrija Mohorovičić, a Croatian seismologist, when he observed that seismograms from shallow-focus earthquakes had two sets of P-waves and S-waves, one that followed a direct path near the Earth's surface and the other refracted by a high velocity medium.
Originally posted by trader21
There have been several test drilling into magma.
Do a google search of drilling into mantle or magma
The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), in collaboration with industry partner AGR Drilling Services, has engineered an ultra-deepwater drilling technology for use by IODP drilling vessels in scientific research.
Originally developed for shallow-water oil and gas exploration, the "riserless mud recovery" technology (RMRT) holds great promise for scientists striving to reach the long-held goal of Project Mohole in the 1950s: drilling all the way through ocean crust into the Earth's mantle; a frontier not yet explored today. Drilled cores from the mantle could provide scientists with answers to questions about the structure, composition, mineralogy, and in situ physical properties of oceanic crust and the geological nature of the seismic Moho.
The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), an international scientific research program supported by 24 countries, advances scientific understanding of the Earth by monitoring, drilling, sampling, and analyzing subseafloor environments. IODP:
The mid-ocean ridges and the new oceanic lithosphere that they create are the principal pathway for energy and mass exchange and physical/chemical interactions between the earth’s interior, the hydrosphere, and the biosphere. Bio-geochemical reactions between the oceans and oceanic crust occur through out its lifetime, and hence the ocean lithosphere records the inventory of global thermal, chemical and biological exchanges. Drilling an ultra-deep hole in an intact portion of oceanic lithosphere, through the crust to the Mohorovičić discontinuity, and into the uppermost mantle is a long-standing goal of scientific ocean drilling; it remains critical to answer many fundamental questions about the dynamics of the Earth and global elemental cycles.
Serpentinization is the dominant reaction process that directly results from the occurrence of mantle rocks in the upper lithosphere, and a major process for hydration of the newly formed lithosphere (e.g., Kerrick, 2002; Bach et al., 2004). Serpentinites have low density and shear strength, hence they are expected to play a key role in detachment faulting, and in the interplay between faults and fluid flow at various scales. Serpentinitehosted hydrothermal vent sites are a major discovery of the past decade (e.g., Kelley et al., 2001, 2005; Charlou et al., 2002). These sites are significantly different to those in volcanics-hosted systems, with distinct fluid chemistry and fauna. They are favorable sites for the production of hydrogen, and of abiotically generated hydrocarbons. Serpentinization is also associated with carbonation reactions, with a significant potential for carbon sequestration that warrants further investigation (Kelemen and Matter, 2008).
If one is willing to accept the possibility that cosmic impact
was responsible for the crater-like Gulf, then the following scenario is proposed: ❐ The Gulf of Mexico area was hit by a huge asteroid or comet at the close of the Permian. It accounted for the great Permian extinction crisis and perhaps contributed to Permian glaciation. ❐ It created an immense crater and resulted in an uplifted Moho due to rebound tectonics.
❐ Impact metamorphosed underlying Paleozoic sediments and created down to basin faulting and basinal grabens. The hot impact basin with a silled outlet to the open ocean offered an ideal evaporating pan for deposition of the Louann Salt.
However, due to higher than expected temperatures at this depth and location, 180 °C (356 °F) instead of expected 100 °C (212 °F), drilling deeper was deemed unfeasible and the drilling was stopped in 1992. With the expected further increase in temperature with increasing depth, drilling to 15,000 m (49,000 ft) would have meant working at a projected 300 °C (570 °F), at which the drill bit would no longer work.
The Moho beneath the continental shelf has a velocity of 7.4 km/sec at a depth of about 30 km. A normal mantle velocities (8 km/sec) are found at 46 km beneath the continental shelf. The Moho beneath the Sabine Uplift is 40 km deep and has a velocity of 8.0 km/sec.
The remaining MOHO effect has masked or distorted the anomalies of geologic interest, making a simplistic, qualitative gravity interpretation difficult if not improbable....