A group of scientists recently discovered a mineral inside a diamond taken from the depths of the earth for the first time.

The discovery, an East Africa News Post report specified, is a "rare glimpse" into the deep mantle and may contribute to the revelation of new information about the structure of Earth at depths of over 660 kilometers.

It can help geologists better understand the manner mantle is controlling the plate tectonics of this planet.

Calcium silicate perovskite, the mineral found, is only forming under the tremendously high pressures deep in the Earth.

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Science Times - Diamond Find: This Discovery Deep in the Earth Unveils Mineral for the First Time
(Photo : Pavel.Somov on Wikimedia Commons)
Cathodoluminescence image of a diamond

Calcium Silicate Perovskite

According to Oliver Tschauner, a mineralogist from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the newly discovered sample possibly formed between 660 and 900 kilometers underneath the surface of Earth.

Even though the mineral had formerly been synthesized in the laboratory employing 20 gigapascals of pressure equivalent to nearly 200,000 times atmospheric pressure, it had instantaneously reverted to a different form when it was taken out of the artificial high-pressure environment.

Therefore, researchers had implicated it would be improbable to retrieve calcium silicate perovskite, which is naturally occurring from the mantle.

Tsachauner explained, the chances, they thought, of discovering it was very low that they never really actively looked for, Scientific American said in a similar report.

The 'Davemaoite' Mineral

Consequently, it was a surprise when Tsachaunder and his colleagues, investigating imperfections in a diamond from Orapa, Botswana, discovered three "minuscule specks of calcium silicate perovskite."

Calcium silicate is discovered in other forms, including wollastonite in the crust and breyite at the mantle's center and lower regions.

Nonetheless, this version had a revealing cubic crystal construction that marked it as different from the said versions of the mineral.

The team colleagues called the new mineral "davemaoite," after Ho-Kwang "Dave" Mao, the geologist who performed some of the pioneering investigations in the use of diamonds as presses to experimentally produce mantle-like pressures on the surface of this planet. They announced their discovery in the Science journal. 

Crystalline Structure of Diamonds

Geoscientists can obtain a decent idea of the structure of the mantle of Earth based on what exists in the crust since the rocks in the crust and mantle are connected.

Specifically, tectonics are moving rocks and minerals up and down, between the layers over millions of years.

In addition, the minerals morph and change as they leave the scorching temperatures and high temperatures of the mantle, nevertheless.

Diamonds are the lone direct window into this area as they do not morph. They are forming at least 150 kilometers underneath the surface, with some originating as deep as 1,000 kilometers.

The crystalline structure of diamonds is made of 100 percent carbon although they frequently scoop up tiny bits of their surroundings upon their formation, as specified in a similar NewScientist report.

Furthermore, since diamonds are exceptionally hard, they can seal in these minute inclusions beneath very pressure, even as the diamond rises to the crust and is pulled by a miner.

According to geologist Oded Navon, who studies diamonds and the deep mantle but was not part of the discovery and identification of davemaoite, the diamond does not let anything in and out. He added it is a "perfect closed box."

Report about the mineral found inside a diamond is shown on NezTech20's YouTube vide below:


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