Mineral found in diamond that should not be on the Earth’s surface

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have discovered for the first time an unusual mineral in a diamond mined under the Earth’s surface. This mineral (perovskite) is formed as a result of high pressure and temperature conditions, which are characteristic only of the lower mantle.

The mineral Davemaoite, named after geophysicist Ho-Kwan (Dave) Mao, has a crystalline structure that forms under high pressure as well as temperature conditions observed only deep below the Earth’s surface, located between the core and crust. Scientists have long predicted its existence, but not on the surface.

In a study published in the journal Science, the researchers stated that perovskite (CaSiO3) is likely the most geochemically important phase in the lower mantle, as it contains elements that are incompatible in the upper mantle.

Mineral found in diamond that should not be on the Earths surface 2

Chemical analysis of the mineral showed the presence of radioactive isotopes of uranium, potassium and thorium.

“Thus, dimemoite may contain three main elements that generate heat, affecting the production of heat in the lower layer of the Earth’s mantle,” the report said.

Led by Oliver Choner of the University of Nevada’s Department of Geosciences, the researchers examined an octahedral diamond from the world’s largest open diamond mine, Orapa, in Botswana. According to Nature reports, the diamond was sold to George Rossman, a mineralogist at the California Institute of Technology, and Chuner began studying it to study the minerals found in deep-earth diamonds.

“The discovery of davemaoit came as a surprise to us,” Choner told Live Science.

One of the main obstacles to the study of rare earth minerals is their tendency to lose their chemical structure when exposed to environmental conditions. However, the new discovery of the mineral has seriously excited the scientific community, since it has not lost its structure even after the past decades since its discovery.

Geophysicist Inway Fei writes, “No one has ever extracted high-pressure calcium silicate from the lower mantle before. This is due to the fact that it cannot maintain its structure after being removed from the high pressure environment.”


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