Researchers Found A Diamond With A Mysterious Mineral Inside
Anil - Sep 27, 2019
This mineral has helped scientists identify different chemical reactions that take place beneath the inaccessible mantle of the Earth.
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For scientists, studying deep layers inside the Earth is very difficult because of the extreme pressure and high temperature. While crust study is possible because the crust is just a membrane, the interior of the Earth can be 900 km thick and have heat between 1000°C and 3700°C.
But now, studying the inner layers of the Earth has become easier thanks to the rocks floating to the surface of the Earth in certain locations, which resulted from underground volcanic eruptions. In a place in South Africa, scientists have discovered a diamond containing a mysterious mineral named Koffiefontein pipe. Notably, the discovery has helped scientists identify different chemical reactions that take place beneath the inaccessible mantle of the Earth.
The formation of diamonds is due to carbon deposits transformation originating from extreme pressure and temperature after a long time, in the upper part of the mantle. In these diamonds, there may be other minerals discovered inside, and one of which is the "goldschmidtite". This is a new mineral that is named after Victor Moritz Goldschmidt, a well-known mineralogist and the founder of modern chemistry and crystal chemistry.
According to a paper by a research group from the University of Alberta, Canada, which was published in the journal American Mineralogist, “goldschmidtite” is a dark-green mineral. It is believed to have formed under approximately 170km of the Earth.
The lead author of the paper, Nicole Meyer, claimed that the goldschmidtite has a special chemical composition. This is because it has a high concentration consisting of niobium, potassium and rare-earth elements such as lanthanum and cerium. In which, potassium and niobium are the two main components of goldschmidtite, which are very rare in the mantle. The composition of goldschmidtite is different from the rest of the mantle, which includes magnesium and iron.
Also added by Meyer’s co-supervisor, Graham Pearson, the presence of goldschmidtite in diamonds has an important scientific significance. This gives us an overview of the fluid processes influencing the roots of the continents under the diamond creation process.