Scientists unearth ancient water in Virginia

Researchers taking a core sample of sediment beneath Cape Charles, Virginia, found something surprising sandwiched between the layers of mud and ooze. Locked inside a rocky layer 5000 feet down, they discovered water — water from the early Cretaceous period.

Notable Replies

  1. They'll probably bottle it and sell it to water snobs, but I'll still think of it as "former dinosaur pee."

  2. I was only able to read the first page of the full article thanks to Readcube, but I see they checked the thermal history to figure out if evaporation via steam could account for the higher salinity and came to the result that no, it didn't. Did they also check for porosity in the surrounding strata to verify that some of the H2O didn't wick away over time (with pores too small for the salt crystals to pass through)?

  3. hhype says:

    There is a good book called "Chesapeake Invader" by C. Wylie Poag that tells the story of the discovery and study of the 35 million year old impact that created the conditions that may have preserved the even older salt water found and reported in this article. I always though it was cool that a large asteroid impact, not to far south of me, may have created the Chesapeake Bay. The book talks about how the ground in that area is so disturbed from the impact that when drilling you are never sure if you will hit a freshwater or saltwater aquifer, which is a problem if you want to drink or irrigate with it.

Continue the discussion

2 more replies