Rare and unseen the mineral was found inside of the diamond

A Diamond From Deep Beneath Earth's Surface Hides a Rare Mineral

While the possibility of water in some diamonds has been accepted for quite some time, scientists have now discovered a new form of ice that has never been found on Earth - ice-VII. This is because it is typically buried around 650 kilometers (400 mi.) deep within the Earth.

The study was published online in the British scientific journal Nature on March 7, 2018. And the discoveries have surprised the science enthusiasts much like a recent sight of a mineral trapped within a diamond that is offering some significant evidences. The team conducted spectroscopy and X-ray imaging to test the presence of calcium silicate perovskite and voila, the sample was found trapped in a tiny diamond that would be instrumental in further studies. Diamonds in general provide access to the deepest intact material from the Earth's interior with the help of the minerals that contained within their volumes. The mine is located on a well known diamond-bearing kimberlite pipe in the Gauteng Province of South Africa.

One of the only ways to actually keep it stable in the surface will be to trap it inside an nearly indestructible and strong container like a diamond, he explained. The mine also holds the distinction of producing the world's largest diamond in 1905. However, this remained only a theory up until now.

The rare Earth mineral embedded in the diamond measures only 0.031 millimeters across. The diamond originated roughly 700 kilometres below Earth's surface, whereas most diamonds are formed at 150 to 200 kilometres depth. The diamond from which the compound was extracted came from a South African mine at a depth of just a kilometer.

The pressure at that depth is approximately 240,000 times that of atmospheric pressure at sea level.

The diamond's structure managed to protect the CaSiO3 and prevented its crystal lattice from being deformed while the diamond moved to the Earth's surface.

"[The kimberlites] are blasted toward the Earth's surface, preserving these unique pieces of Earth's mantle", Pearson said. "The specific composition of the perovskite inclusion in this particular diamond very clearly indicates the recycling of oceanic crust into Earth's lower mantle". He added that studying such diamonds would provide an insight into the oceanic crust and exactly what happens when a denser oceanic plate plunges into the Earth's mantle when opposed to continental plates.

The researchers polished the diamond and conducted spectroscopic analysis to confirm that the mineral inside it is indeed the perovskite.

According to the researcher, diamonds are a completely unique way to see what's inside the Earth and how it is composed of.

Even though it was previously thought that slabs of Earth's crust sink into the planet's hot interior below bone dry, they could still be bringing surface water down into the mantle with them.

Related:

Comments


Other news