For the modern world to be able to maintain a sustainable economy and be able to withstand the effects of climate change, it is important that at least one of the industries is able to start a sharp growth. The scientists believe that the important direction is the mining of metals, which are needed to create a wide infrastructure in order to produce, create, store and transfer energy.
But the demand for metals in the near future will exceed the existing reserves. However, the scientists do not lose hope. They conducted a study where they discovered structural lines extending tens of kilometers deep into the Earth that were previously unexplored.
They indicate gigantic deposits of copper, zinc, lead, and other types of important metals that are close enough to the surface to begin their mining. But in order to accurately detect the places of their distribution, modern research methods are required to narrow down the search areas. One of the authors of the study, Mark Hoshshard, believes that these hidden deposits can contain up to 10 million tons of metals.
They lie along certain lines, strangely encircling the planet, marking the edges of ancient continents. According to preliminary calculations, the most surface metal deposits can be located at a depth of about 170 kilometers. Until that moment, all metal deposits were on the surface of the soil. The discovery made by the geologists applied new methods of geophysical exploration using gravity. The result of the work of the scientists was the compilation of a high-tech map that tells where to look for metals.
The start of the study was in 2016 in Australia. It is here that a significant part of the global supply of copper, lead and zinc is mined. To determine the location of the deposits, the scientists decided to use seismic waves to map the strongly varying depths of the lithosphere. It extends to a depth of 300 kilometers and is often located in the continental zones under the rocks at the bottom of the ocean.
Continents shifted, collided for many centuries, forming scarring irregularities on the surface of the lithosphere. And today they are mapped. The richest deposits can be found in Australia, along the coastline at a depth of up to 170 kilometers.
Deposits, according to the researchers, could have been formed about two million years ago. In addition, territories in Canada, Greenland, northern India and Central Asia are mapped.