South African diamond provides new clues on Earth's internal processes


They posted their findings in the Nature journal Wednesday. 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.

A super-deep diamond from the Cullinan Mine, similar to the one that was found trapping calcium silicate perovskite.

Because diamonds are the most incompressible materials, the ones found deep in the Earth can trap otherwise-unstable materials and allow them to be viewable on the surface.

It is said to be the world's richest source of rare blue diamonds and has produced over a quarter of the planet's diamonds with a value higher than 400 carats.

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Graham Pearson was quoted in an American online magazine Inverse saying, "This was very special because this mineral had been theoretically predicted, but it was not thought possible to see it preserved at the Earth's surface for observation and measurement".

The diamond discovered in a mine in South Africa contained perovskite, which meant it originated more than 700 km beneath Earth's surface. Pearson explained that the diamonds from the mine are among not only the most commercially valuable in the world, but they are also the most scientifically valuable, providing insight into the deepest parts of Earth's core. However, this remained only a theory up until now.

(Motherboard) A new report published today in Science suggests that pockets of liquid water may exist up to 500 miles beneath Earth's surface-far deeper that previous estimates.

"The diamonds that most people have as jewelry come from around about 200 kilometres depth, which is very deep", Pearson said. For diamonds to form they need two basic conditions: extreme heat and extreme pressure.

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The pressure that this particular diamond would have had to undergo before it formed could have been equivalent to about 240,000 atmospheres, he said.

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 specific composition of the perovskite inclusion in this particular diamond very clearly indicates the recycling of oceanic crust into Earth's lower mantle".

The researchers polished the diamond and conducted spectroscopic analysis to confirm that the mineral inside it is indeed the perovskite. "This work shows there can be free excess fluids in the mantle, which is important", stated Oliver Tschauner, a researcher at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the study's leading author. (Zetta is a unit prefix equal to a factor of 10, or a one followed by 21 zeros.) Scientists have long known that CaSiO3 was plentiful, particularly in "slabs of oceanic crust that have plunged into the planet's mantle at tectonic boundaries", Specktor of Live Science writes.

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