The MOHO; Has BP drilled into it?

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posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 01:50 AM
I recently learned of the Mohorovičić Discontinuity, otherwise called the MOHO. Here is a scientifc explanation for what it is:

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.[1]


If you go to THIS website at, you will find some maps and drawings that better explain it and at what depth (approx) the MOHO is in the Gulf Coast.

I have absolutely NO idea if this is even possible, but when I read about it, the gulf was the first thing I thought of.

So basically, this is the 'space' between the earths crust and mantle. No one has EVER drilled into it. Therefore, there is only speculation as to what one would find there. Could this perhaps explain the extreme pressure and other odd chemical make-up of this well?

Again, I do not have enough knowledge to say if this is even possible, so I am hoping perhaps we have a geologist among us that could either de-bunk this theory or specuate as to whether it's possible and what it might mean IF it were the case.

Thanks in advance!

posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 05:25 AM
Hmmm...have to be honest and say this kind of scenario ran through my mind when I started looking into this fiasco - had they opened Pandora's box...? Reading this made me shiver at the POSSIBILITY that this is just what has happened.

posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 05:32 AM
reply to post by 5senses

If I was in power and was facing disaster (financial collapse) I would architect a reset of things as they are, retaining power and control. To hit the "RESET" button on humanity, one would need to use the power of nature to one's advantage and direct chaos to one's enemies. If a civilization was able to effectively manipulate the moho, this civilization would harness power beyond the greatest atomic bomb. Such a capability would enable the wielder to truly turn nature against itself...

posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 06:42 AM
WOA! Heavy stuff! Sadly I feel like I have just begun to really grow up in light of all the lies told to us and the crap I believed true as 'they' sold it to me... thus your comment makes me go, " Hell, why not? Look at what they've already done"

posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 07:23 AM
There have been several test drilling into magma.

Do a google search of drilling into mantle or magma

posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 04:09 PM

Originally posted by trader21
There have been several test drilling into magma.

Do a google search of drilling into mantle or magma

Wow! Thanks for the link, that will make for some heavy reading. I have browsed over some of it, but do not have time right now to devote to really reading it. I will do so later tonight. My first thought is that the paper came out in 1999 and covers what they PLAN to do....I will dig later to find out if they accomplished it, unless someone else already has the answer.

Also, going straight into a volcano would be different, I think than digging down INTO the MOHO. If you think of the magma chamber as a 'pipe' dissecting the MOHO, (for lack of a better description).

The most recent account I could find was from 2005 which stated it (drilling into the MOHO) had not been achieved. Also, keep in mind that reports state that on land, the MOHO is at an average 32km depth, while at it's shallowest in the ocean (usually along a rift) is about 8 km.

So in reference to the other posters, some of you mirror my own thoughts. When I first had the idea it was an "oh man, what if?" moment, because as I stated before, I really have no idea what that would imply. Perhaps absolutely nothing.

The point I would like to make though, is as far as I know there is speculation out there as to what is whithin the confines of the MOHO but I don't think anyone really KNOWS.

Again, I would like to invite any ATS'rs that have the knowledge to delve into this subject. It has really got me thinking (which can be a dangerous thing

posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 04:17 PM
Okay, I found more info. Taken from THIS article, as of 2009 it has not been achieved, but the technology produced. Here is an excerpt:

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.

So leads me to wonder if perhaps BP (and who knows who else may be involved, under the guise of BP) was already using this technology?

Here is a LINK to the IODP Here is their mission statement:

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:

I think it may be worthwhile to look at their sponsors.


here is another LINK. It is for a International workshop held in Japan last month for the MOHO project.

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.

[edit on 15-7-2010 by westcoast]

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 01:37 AM
I have continued to do some more searching/reading and still have not come up with anything indicating that the MOHO has actually been drilled into. Looks like the closest anyone has claimed is last year, a scientific group drilled down into the 'basement'...or the last layer before the MOHO.

I came across another interesting paper, which is an overview of the above linked meeting last month. Here is a LINK to that paper.

In it, one of the many things discussed is something called Serpentinization. Better to read about it than to try and have me explain it; I am sure I would get it wrong. Here is an excerpt from it:

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).

I want to highlight this statement:

They are favorable sites for the production of hydrogen, and of abiotically generated hydrocarbons.

This is one of the proposed reasons for the high flow of oil we have been seeing in this well. Abiotic hydrocarbons. Here is a paper put together from the workshop hosted by the world-wide organization for deep-well drilling to look for the MOHO. It is suggested that this is something they might find there. I think that is VERY important!!!

Anyways, if this topic interests you at all, check out this paper and the many links to other papers that it provides. The more I read about it, the more I realize the importance of it to the scientific community and a special interest to drillers.

I would not be at all surprised to find out that this drilling expedition was something more than it at first appeared. I know this statement is nothing new; there have been all sorts of theories suggested here at ATS alone...but this one just makes sense to me. It would explain quite a bit, and also all the 'unknowns' now surrounding it and the wierd reaction by our own government.

What do you think???

[edit on 16-7-2010 by westcoast]

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 04:01 AM
A bit more info to add for tonight and then I am going to bed!

The more I search, the more I find to possibly support this theory. I found this paper written in 2002 by a geologist named Michael Stanton. He has a theory of how the gulf was formed...seemed there is still some debate about it. Anyways, his theory is that it is the site of a large crater impact...which is what caused an uplift in the MOHO!! So apparantly, it IS closer to the surface in the Gulf, but I haven't found the numbers. Here is a bit from the paper:

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.

It is titled "Is the Gulf's Origin Heaven Sent?" LINK

Now Mr. Simmons has also been speaking out a lot and I again came across this statement that I remember reading earlier on: ..."The Macondo Well has all the earmarks (based on current response, length of time to drill the relief wells, high pressure hard cap designs/fabrication) of being a super high pressure blow-out that is into the earth’s mantle. The “red oil” that is being seen floating on the GOM surface could be from the earth’s mantle (Where is the chemical signature for this oil after 70 days?). If this well had only been in the range of 14,500 psi well bore pressures, we would have already drilled the relief well and sealed it off (by day 40 at the latest with 7000 barrels of mud). However, since this has not happened, one can assume the situation is in a transition of going from very bad to worse with maybe three options left"

So you can see why I continue to roll this idea around....

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 11:51 AM
Since I have done all of this in the middle of the night, I will give this one little bump so my daytime friends can have a peek.

I am very curious to see what some other opinions are...I think it very possible. I would also like to find out what the suspected depth of the MOHO in the gulf is. Anyone?

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 12:21 PM
what would be the advantage of drilling into the MOHO layer for oil? or are you saying there is a double layer being the second layer is a MOHO layer and there is crude oil on either side?

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 12:41 PM
reply to post by mr20121221

When I first started the thread, I had no idea what the advantage would be, other than the unknown. After doing some more reading, I see a few reasons for this:

1. The MOHO is closer to the surface in the gulf, so it would make sense for an attempt to be made there.

2. It is theorized that a certain process called Serpentinization occurs whithin the MOHO which may produce abiotically generated hydrocarbons. This is HUGE when it comes to oil. That could mean a well that would NEVER run dry. Think about that.

3. Now, if you come to same conculsion as me, and you have tapped this, wouldn't you want to keep that info to yourself? Don't you think the government, looking to make us all panic and pay mass money for our precious oil want to keep that to themselves? Think of all the implicatons of that....really think about it. It would explain a lot of the behaviours we have seen. At least, for me it does.

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 05:55 PM
reply to post by westcoast

reply to post by westcoast

Where to begin? First we need to consider what is the MOHO? It is the 'layer' between the crust and the mantle. This cross-section from WikiMedia shows the layers.

The Wiki article on the MOHO gives some background information. At least for this type of think Wikipedia is quite good. Unfortunately I am old enough to remember Project Mohole and I was very interested at the time. It was a shame that it got cancelled.

This boundary layer is possibly a temperature gradient and this is quite likely as the layer is different depths depending on where you are, i.e. under sea or on land. The standard answer is that it is a change in the composition of the rocks, but that may not be the case. The Russians also drilled a borehole in the 60s, but I did not hear about that one at the time - the Kola project - and this reached about 12,000 metres before it stopped. The most important detail of this project is this to my mind:

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.[4] 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.

Basically the rock was viscous and the drill bits started to bend, hence they did not work!

This project was not really near the MOHO as such since on land this can be anything up to 100km down. At the Kola bore it is about 35km down.

So what to we have?

  • The MOHO is probably a temperature gradient
    • The Russians could not drill any deeper because the drill was melting (basically)
    • This bore hole did not reach the MOHO

  • Several other projects have attempted to get to the MOHO but none have succeeded
  • There have been deeper wells than BP which have not hit the MOHO and these have been offshore
  • This gives us a clue that BP probably did not drill into the moho!
  • If they had drilled into the MOHO the scientists would have been delighted!!!!! - and I think we would have heard about it!

So how deep is the MOHO below the Gulf? I don't know so I went to look.

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.


I cant copy this one (PDF) but look at the text immediately above the drawing on the right hand side of the first page. Since the BP rig was not in the centre this would suggest that the MOHO is deepening where the rig is located. (Don't forget that the BP well is only at 18,000ft or about 5.5km below the sea bed.) Yes it is close and the gas and oil surging upwards is hot, but despite being at 5.5 or so kilometres (I believe it is actually 5.28) I do not believe it has reached or breached the MOHO if only because of the fact that if, as is strongly indicated, this is temperature gradient then it would seem that it is not technically possible (at present) to drill into the MOHO.

At the end of the day it would still be rock, even if a bit thick and viscous.

[edit]Just a small PS.

Abiotic production of oil probably works, but there is no way it will work at MOHO depths. Why? In order to accumulate oil you need a strata of rock that can hold the reservoir. In a viscous malleable environment there is not place for a reservoir to accumulate.

Whilst I believe that abiotic oil production may well happen, I doubt very much that it will happen at the level of the MOHO.

[edit on 16/7/2010 by PuterMan]

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 06:41 PM
reply to post by PuterMan

Thank you very much for your response, I respect your opinion!

I was doing some math on all of this last night and I came to a similar conclusion about the depth of the MOHO in the gulf vs. the depth of the well. My only question is as to whether it was achieved because of the unique structure of the basin, as discussed in the last paper I quoted (about the gulf being the result of a impact). I took this snipet from the link you provided:

The remaining MOHO effect has masked or distorted the anomalies of geologic interest, making a simplistic, qualitative gravity interpretation difficult if not improbable....

I may be reading this wrong, but it tells me that it is hard to map the area? So maybe BP found something unknown until now? Just a thought.

As far as abiotic hydrocarbon, what about Serpentinization? I know it is just a theory, which means there are just as many people that believe as don't.

As you said, this oil is hot...there are a lot of various volumonious gasses and a lot of scientists seem a bit perplexed by it.

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 07:57 PM
So the Corexit is to hide the "red oil", in order for us not to identify (realize) it's coming from the MOHO?

[edit on 16-7-2010 by sweetliberty]

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 09:03 PM
reply to post by sweetliberty

Perhaps. That could be a possibility or more likely, to keep the rest of the world in the 'dark' as to just how much oil there really is down there.

I know that somewhere someone had posted an analysis of the oil...I never really read that thread, but think that maybe now I should. This would give some insight as to what type of oil (old or new) it is.

There is also a link on the main page for the MOHO conference for the attendee's. I would be curious as to whether any of them have been in the media linked to any of this.

Does anyone know how hot the oil coming out is? I haven't seen that anywhere. Could this be why the 'big wigs' came in right at the end and informed them they were sealing the cap differently than planned?

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 09:42 PM
A brief moment, please, for us unegumikated ones that started working for a living at 15 ..............

I remember clearly, thinking about this even as a boy in school :: if we have not even drilled so far as the first "different layer" of the earth, how the hell do we supposedly know that the earth is comprised of these different layers?

And I am asking this here, instead of "Googling" it, as geology to some folks is like computing (I can build them), car mechanics (I can fix it), or bridge work (I've built them too!) to others- no matter how much one reads, it just isn't going to make sense. Perhaps someone could synopsise :how do we know these things?



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 12:25 AM
reply to post by Misfit

I think you ask a very good question. You see, this is where science desolves into theory. We know certain things based on what we have actually found and seen. The rest of it is theory based on scientific findings and speculation. I don't know enough to answer your question very well, perhaps Puterman or someone else could.

Your question though, is why some people like to specuate that what we think is under our feet, may in fact be something different than what we have been told all along. It is hard to support and deny some of these claims because for all of our knowledge...we really don't know for sure.

This is why I have (and others)concern over drilling into the MOHO. What could the repercussions be? Who knows? Probably nothing...but we won't know until it happens.

posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 12:27 AM
Well done Westcoast, Great research, i am delving into this also as i for one after checking some of the links provided really think you may be onto something. This is one of the best ideas/conclusions i have found so far on the gulf disaster, all though not proven, research shows this as a distinct possibility.

"The “red oil” that is being seen floating on the GOM surface could be from the earth’s mantle (Where is the chemical signature for this oil after 70 days?)."

This reminds me of the bible revelations 8:8 and i quote: “And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” Revelation 8:8

Now i am not religious nor want to sound like a crackpot, but if this thing blows due to pressure or the already leaking cracks in the ocean floor cant be stopped by the relief wells, this could become reality, also the oil on the rov feeds was changing color continuously and i noticed a lot of red rusty colored oil output, this was not discolored from the corexit spray, as i was still this color below the spray nozzle of the implement they were spraying with.
Makes me wonder why the constant change in color of the oil discharge, and also isnt oil meant to black? Any input or criticism, would be appreciated, i think more of us should consider Westcoasts theory and try and do some research of out own to compliment his fine work.
This also adds consideration to abiotic oil theory we have been hearing about though sources such as C2C, and seems to be gaining more scientific backing these days.

Anyway great post, solid research, fantastic links and evidence. 5 star work!! FLAG and STAR for you and your independent research!

posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 12:48 AM
reply to post by troye2407

Thank you! I really appreciate your input. I am glad to hear someone else will be looking into it...I don't have too much free time to do it myself.

I came up with this theory because, of all things, a scientific novel I was reading that discussed the MOHO. It was the first time I had ever heard of it and wanted to find out if there were such a thing, because I immediately thought of the gulf. What I have found since, has truely given me some chills at times. The pieces seem to fall into place and I can't help but wonder. I am not, in any way saying that I think I am right....this is all pure conjecture, but what if?

I recomend you read the paper about the impact theory I linked. It also gives reason for the fragile seafloor in the gulf and fractures.

Again, I want to thank Puterman for the level response...he is most likely correct. I would like to think too that if this long sought-after goal of getting to the MOHO were reached, the scientific community would rejoice and share the revelations with the rest of us. The jaded side of me, however, can't help but wonder. If BP and the government were behind this discovery, and it actually provided an endless supply of oil, sharing that knowledge could potentially crash our economy. (knowing this...what would BP execs do? Hmmm....sell stocks) How I see it, Our government and perhaps others would do ALL they could to keep that truth from getting out. Don't you think?

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