So far, science has done a lot of research of what if above the Earth’s surface and what is on the Earth’s surface, going from fields of research that center on animal life to outer space. However, when it comes to us knowing the structure of what lies beneath the Earth’s surface it seems that we know only very little. In order to fix this problem, scientists have spent countless amounts of time on trying to work out the internal structure by studying rocks and trying to get information this way.
This discussion leads us to the main topic of this article, how a diamond found in the Cullinan Mine, a mine in a region of South Africa, can shed more light on this matter.
More details about the diamond
The majority of people may say that this diamond is not special in any way when they first take a look at it. At best, they could only say that the diamond is special because it is very small, measuring about 3 millimeters. It may even sound odd to call this rock a “deep diamond” as it was found only about one kilometer below the Earth’s surface.
Why is this diamond important for researchers?
First of all, when the group of researchers that came across this rock polished it, they saw that there was a small unidentified chunk inside of it. After they performed a series of tests they found out that it was a piece of calcium silicate perovskite, which is, for those that do not know, one of the most abundant types of mineral on the planet.
Normally, this type of mineral is found deep in the planet’s mantle and the surprise came from seeing it appear so very close to the Earth’s surface. In order for them to study this mineral, they had to chemically create it as they could collect a sample from nature.
The fact that the diamond has this mineral inside indicates how it was probably formed. This deep diamond, scientists say, was formed from a part of an ocean’s crust that collided with something after it experienced the very high pressure of about 240 thousand atmospheres. They also state that this diamond was formed at around 700 kilometers inside of the Earth.
One of the coauthors of this study, Graham Pearson, said that there are plenty of tons of perovskite in the deep levels of the Earth. The man is a professor at the University of Alberta, working in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
This diamond is living proof for scientists that oceanic plates do go through a recycling process in the lower mantle of the Earth. This also shows how these plates travel into the Earth’s structure. The study was published on the 7th of March. It was published in Nature, a science journal.
What do scientists think about this discovery
This diamond gave scientists a great new opportunity to study the inner layers of the Earth. Despite having the newest forms of technology at their beckon, they have only been able to drill for about 12 kilometers into the surface, which does indeed give them some information but not a lot of it. This only leads them to speculate and come up with theories based on the facts that are available to them.
It will be some time until researchers will have the luck to find rocks like this deep diamond, that could offer them a lot of information on the inner workings of the layers that exist beneath the Earth’s surface.