Published: Thu, July 19, 2018
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Huge diamond cache likely buried in Earth's interior

Huge diamond cache likely buried in Earth's interior

The outcomes are unlikely to set off a diamond rush. Diamond continues to lure the world for an endless search of it - a treasure hunt of a child's dream that continues to live on in the heart and minds of not only diamond merchants but also in the hearts of the hungry dreamer. The diamonds are in the "roots" of cratons, which are large sections of rock.

Called cratons, these mantle rocks look like inverted mountains that run through our planet's crust and into its mantle, with their deepest sections - known as cratonic roots - going up to 200 miles (320 kilometers) deep into the Earth.

Next, the team multiplied this percentage by the total volume of cratonic roots in the Earth, estimated by thorough mapping of new and old rock formations.

The incredible discovery was made by scientists at MIT, Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley after they analyzed seismic records.

The study was detailed by MIT, which explains that seismic activity data gathered by entities like the USGS essentially involves sound waves that pass through the Earth.

The data is generally used to construct an image of what the Earth's interior may look like by estimating the types of rock that make up the crust and parts of the upper mantle.

To solve the mystery and understand just why the sound waves behaved so differently, the team created a three-dimensional model showing how seismic waves travelled through the Earth's major cratons.

The scientists became aware of this enormous diamond in the centre of the Earth due to a natural phenomenon such as tsunamis and earthquakes.

The researchers aimed to identify the composition of cratonic roots that might explain the spikes in seismic speeds. In fact, the discovery suggests that we actually have 1,000 times more diamonds on earth than previously expected.

"Diamond in many ways is special", Faul said. Since these vibrations can change, which vary depending on the structure, temperature and density of different rocks, researchers can use these recordings to create an image of the earth's accessible interior.They found that underground vibes produced from natural processes such as quake and tsunami rapidly grow during cratonic roots; Speedup was relatively higher than the fact that cratons are cooler and less dense than the surrounding structures, both of which are the conditions that accelerate the waves.

Cratons are naturally less dense than the surrounding rock, and the presence of the diamond does not change that. At about 120 to 150 km below the surface, it is out of reach of even the best drills available right now. The deepest parts are referred to as "roots" by geologists.

Nevertheless, researchers from the MIT believe their presence among some of the oldest known rock can reveal much about our planet's heart. So we found that you just need 1% to 2% diamond for cratons to be stable and not sink.

"It's circumstantial evidence, but we've pieced it all together".

Garber said "Our understanding of deep Earth continues to improve because we do more measurements, use more and sometimes get samples. We went through all the different possibilities, from every angle, and this is the only one that's left as a reasonable explanation" said Dr. Uhlrich Faul.

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