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Research carried out under the direction of Professor Niall English in the SFI-funded Materials, Energy and Water Simulations (MEWS) research group in UCD’s School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, has indicated that water on earth may have originated within its mantle, thus challenging existing theories that water arrived via comets. The finding was published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, a leading journal for researchers across the Earth and planetary sciences community and also in the New Scientist.

The recent article published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters detailed a model proposed by Dr Zdenek Futera and Professor English, along with colleagues at the University of Saskatchewan, which gives greater clarity to water-formation mechanisms in Earth’s mantle via chemical reaction of high-pressure hydrogen with quartz-silica.