We have 6,360 km to get to the center of the Earth and the deepest hole made on its surface reached “only” 12,262 km (Kola Superdeep Borehole).
If the Earth was an apple, the skin would be the crust, and we must admit that we were not capable to drill the skin of our planet; then it is clear that drilling is not an easy work, and it is more clear nowadays with this recent piece of news about those Chilean miners trapped in tunnels that are “only” 700 metres underground but it would take 2 months the rescue work to get to the place where they are.
Jules Verne used its imagination to drill until the core of the planet, but we ,as geology students, should know about the scientific direct and indirect methods to study the Earth´s interior:
- The interior of the Earthis perfectly explained in this virtual lesson where you can read clear information about the Earth´s layers and the indirect methods to study them, that is P and S seismic waves.
- This other one is a very good interactive activity with texts, drawings and tests to understand the Interior of the Earth according to the seismic waves .
- And here there are some flash animations to explain how a seismograph works: Seismograph-1.swf from Colby College and seismograph-2. from www.juntadeandalucia.es/