A reservoir of melting carbon covering an area almost the size of Mexico has been discovered beneath the western US, casting doubt over previous estimates of carbon levels inside the Earth. The discovery was made by a team from the University of Royal Holloway London using the world’s largest array of seismic sensors that identified the carbon from vibrations generated in Earth’s upper mantle. The reservoir is believed to have been formed when a Pacific tectonic plate

was forced underneath the western US, according to the research published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters. “It is a result of one of the tectonic plates of the Pacific Ocean forced underneath the western US, undergoing partial melting, thanks to gasses like CO2 and H2O contained in the minerals dissolved in it,” study author Dr Sash Hier-Majumder of Royal Holloway said in a statement. Located 217 miles (350km) below the planet’s surface the reservoir is estimated to cover 695,000 sq miles (1.8 million sq km).  READ MORE