Diamonds are another type of wealth that is not just a beautiful, beautiful stone, it is a fragment of the deep history of the world.
From the flaws within the mineral’s near-complete lattice, scientists have recently found a way to retrieve long-hidden records of our planet’s past.
“We love diamonds that no one really wants,” said Yaakov Weiss, a geologist at Columbia University, referring to dirt-rich diamonds that are not as clear and lustrous as they are needed for jewelry.
These filigree and filthy gems are little repositories filled with messages from deep within the world. The perfect diamond carbon structure doesn’t have enough radioactive isotopes to help researchers find it, but microinclusions. Found in its flaws can be done
These blemishes can create tiny pockets that might encapsulate the chemicals that diamonds produce.
“After the diamond caught something from that time until millions of years later in my lab, the material was the same,” Weiss explained back in 2015. “We can view the diamond as a time capsule as a” time capsule “. Messengers from places we don’t have Other way of seeing “
Sometimes, these capsules contain other solids, such as strange forms of ice, typically inaccessible minerals from the bowels of our planet, or even other diamonds.These solid messages are difficult to interpret due to inclusion. May occur at a different time than the diamond capsule that is now.
However, other gaps in the diamond’s structure have captured the fluid that had once infiltrated the continent’s lithosphere. This layer of the world is the top of the mantle. (Which lies between the crust and the outer core), 150 to 200 kilometers (90 to 120 miles) below the surface, and where diamonds are ‘born’.
Here, the high heat and pressures from all the rocks above it can force the carbon atoms into the neatly arranged structure of the diamond. In fact, the fluid that seeps out from above causes carbon to form a diamond.
Now, the new technique allows researchers to finally find those liquids within diamonds found in southern Africa.
“This is the first time we have been able to find a reliable age for these fluids,” Weiss said.
The diamond’s structure appears to prevent helium from leaking out, allowing Weiss and colleagues to determine the age of these rocks by using the rare isotope of Helium-4, the ratio between radioactive atoms in fluid-product aggregation. From their decay
Using the new method, the team identified three different periods of diamond formation in the underground rock mass that eventually came together to form the African mantle. The liquid that forms the diamond has changed with the ages, shifting from silicon-rich carbonates and eventually to salt water.
The first phase of diamond formation occurred during proterozoicism 2.6 billion to 750 million years ago, when these rocks collided into large mountains. The researchers suspect that these collisions caused carbonate-rich liquids to sink deep in the Earth. But it is not yet known exactly what it is.
The next phase also coincided with the mountain-forming period, between 540 and 300 million years ago, during the Paleozoic period, which produced silicone-based diamonds. At this stage, the beginning of the African robes are being formed.
Then, 130 to 85 million years ago, during the Cretaceous, the liquid turned into a rich salt – suggesting that these diamonds were formed from what was once the ocean floor. This is dragged under the mass of Africa that is now formed by subduction, where one continent is forced below the other where they meet.
The entire rock was then moved closer to the Earth’s surface through deeper volcanic eruptions, such as the Kimberite eruption 85 million years ago, which miners recently discovered.
“Southern Africa is one of the best educated places in the world. But we can hardly see it other than indirect indication of what happened in the past, ”explains Cornelia Class, a geologist at Columbia University. Fluid is a rare way to connect events from deep within the world with events on the surface.
It is noteworthy that millions of workers today rely on diamond mining as a source of income. But the conditions in which they work in them can be harsh and can include human trafficking and child labor. The mines also pollute the soil and waterways that are completely dependent on the community.
The companies that received diamonds in the study, De Beers, one of the two largest diamond producers in the world, often did not disclose which mines each diamond came from.
So while diamonds can clearly reveal our geological history, But extraction from the world was also incredibly expensive.
The research is published in Nature communication.