Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has reported that there is a massive diamond cache beneath the surface of Earth, but it is out of reach of humans
The Hush Post: In a major discovery, the United States researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) reported this week that there is a massive diamond cache beneath the surface of Earth, but it is out of reach to humans.
The MIT researchers said that over 1,000 tonnes of diamonds to be exact –or one thousand times more than one trillion– are buried deep below the surface of the Earth. But don’t expect a diamond rush. These naturally occurring precious minerals are located far deeper than any drilling expedition has ever reached, about 90 to 150 miles (145 to 240 kilometers) below the surface of the Earth, a report said.
“We can’t get at them, but still, there is much more diamond there than we have ever thought before,” Ulrich Faul, a research scientist in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, was quoted as saying in the report.
“This shows that diamond is not perhaps this exotic mineral, but on the scale of things, it’s relatively common,” he was further quoted.
Using seismic technology to analyze how sound waves pass through the Earth, scientists detected the treasure trove in rocks called cratonic roots, which are shaped like inverted mountains that stretch through the Earth’s crust and into the mantle, the report said.
These are “the oldest and most immovable sections of rock that lie beneath the center of most continental tectonic plates,” MIT said in a statement.
The project to uncover deep Earth diamonds began because scientists were puzzled by observations that sound waves would speed up significantly when passing through the roots of ancient cratons, the report said.
So they assembled virtual rocks, made from various combinations of minerals, to calculate how fast sound waves would travel through them.
“Diamond in many ways is special. One of its special properties is, the sound velocity in diamond is more than twice as fast as in the dominant mineral in upper mantle rocks, olivine,” Faul was quoted as saying.
They found that the only type of rock that matched the speeds they were detecting in craton would contain one to two per cent diamond. Scientists now believe the Earth’s ancient underground rocks contain at least 1,000 times more diamond than previously expected, it was reported.
Still, very few of these gems are expected to make their way to the jewellery store. Diamonds are made from carbon, and are formed under high-pressure and extreme temperatures deep in the Earth. They emerge near the surface only through volcanic eruptions that occur rarely –on the order of every few tens of millions of years, the report said.