According to a new study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other universities, more than one quadrillion tons of diamonds may be hidden inside the Earth. But the new results are unlikely to trigger a diamond boom. Scientists estimate that precious minerals are buried more than 100 miles below the surface, far exceeding the depth reached by any drilling expedition.
The ultra-depth cache may be scattered in the Craton root – the oldest and most immobile rock part is located below the center of most continental tectonic plates. Shaped like a downhill, the craton can go deep into the earth’s crust 200 miles; geologists call their deepest part the “root.”
In this new study, scientists estimate that Cratonic root may contain 1% to 2% of diamonds. Considering the total volume of the Cratonic root in the Earth, the team believes that in these ancient rocks, about one trillion (1016) tons of diamonds are scattered 90 to 150 miles below the surface.
Ulrich Foll, a research scientist at the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said: “This suggests that diamonds may not be such bizarre minerals, but on the [geological] scale of things, this is relatively common. “We can’t accept them, but there are still more diamonds than we thought before.”
Faul’s co-authors include scientists from the University of California at Santa Barbara, the Paris Institute of Geophysics, the University of California at Berkeley, the Paris Polytechnic Institute, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Harvard University, and the University of Science and Technology. China, Bayreuth University, University of Melbourne and University College London.
A voice glitch
Faul and his colleagues came to the conclusion after being confused about the anomalies in the seismic data. In the past few decades, agencies such as the US Geological Survey have retained a global record of seismic activity – essentially Earth’s sound waves caused by earthquakes, tsunamis, explosions and other seismic sources. Various speeds and intensities that geography can use to determine the origin of an earthquake bring sounds from these sources from around the world.
Scientists can also use these seismic data to build images that might look inside the Earth. Sound waves travel through the earth at different speeds, depending on the temperature, density and composition of the rock they travel. Scientists use the relationship between earthquake, vibration, and rock formations. Crustaceans and tops are considered to be rock engravings.
However, when using geographic data to compile the inner maps of the Earth, scientists cannot explain a strange anomaly: they tend to accelerate sound waves when they pass through the roots of ancient planets. Craton is denser and denser than the occult around the planets, and produces sounds that are quite fast.
“The speed of measurement is faster than we think can be reproduced with reasonable assumptions,” Faul said. “Then we have to say, ‘There is a problem.’ This is the beginning of this project.”
Diamonds in the depths
The team aims to determine the composition of the cratonic root that may explain the peak seismic velocity. To this end, the team’s seismologists first used seismic data from the USGS and other sources to generate a three-dimensional model of the seismic wave velocity through the Earth’s main craton.
After this, Faul and others, who used to measure sound velocity through many different types of minerals in the laboratory, used this knowledge to collect the virtual rocks made from various mineral combinations. The team then calculated how fast the sound waves traveled through each virtual rock and found that only one type of rock produced the same speed as the seismologist measured: a rock containing 1% to 2% diamonds, And the rock type of the peridotite (dominant) on the earth and a small amount of eclogite (representing the subduction oceanic crust). This is at least 1,000 times more than the diamonds that people had expected.
“Diamonds are special in many ways,” said Fore. “One of its special properties is that the speed of sound in a diamond is twice as fast as the main mineral in the upper mantle rock olivine.”
The researchers found that 1% to 2% of the rock’s rock composition is sufficient to produce higher sonic speeds measured by seismologists. This small part of the diamond will not change the overall density of the craton. The density of the craton is naturally not as dense as the surrounding mantle.
“They are like wooden blocks that float on the water,” Faul said. “The cratons are less dense than the surrounding environment, so they won’t be swooped back to Earth, but floating on the ground. That’s how they protect the oldest rocks. So we found that you need 1% to 2% diamonds to make the carats Pass becomes stable without sinking.”
To some extent, Faul said that the craton root made of diamonds makes sense. Diamonds are forged in high-pressure, high-temperature environments deep in the Earth, and can only be brought close to the surface by volcanic eruptions that occur every tens of millions of years. These volcanoes erupted with a geological “pipeline” made of rock called kimberlite (named after the town of Kimberley, South Africa, where the first diamond in the rock was found). Diamonds, along with magma from the depths of the Earth, can be sprayed onto the Earth’s surface through kimberlite tubes.
In most cases, kimberlite tubes have been found on the edge of Cratongen, such as in certain parts of Canada, Siberia, Australia and South Africa. Well, it is reasonable for Cratongan to include some diamonds in his make-up.
“This is indirect evidence, but we put it together,” Faul said. “From all angles, we have experienced all the different possibilities, and this is the only possibility to leave a reasonable explanation.”