Scientists discover 'quadrillion tons of diamond' beneath Earth's surface

Quadrillion tons’ of diamonds located 160km below Earth’s surface researchers say

Don't expect a massive diamond rush, though. Using sound waves, scientists discovered diamond reserves, located deep under the Earth's surface, and these reserves reach a quadrillion tons.

The news comes from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, who have uncovered that Earth's ancient mantle rocks may be made out of diamond. These formations - which are shaped like inverted mountains and lie at the center of the planet's tectonic plates, according to MIT News - stretch up to 200 miles into the Earth. With the discovery, the scientists estimated that there are 1,000 times more diamonds on Earth than previously known. According to the study, up to two percent of these roots may be composed of diamond - meaning there could be a whopping quadrillion tons (a staggering 15 zeroes) of diamonds scattered below our planet's surface.

The thing is that we can't actually get to them, but they're there, and they're a lot, more than we could ever imagine.

Dr. Faul and colleagues came to their conclusion after puzzling over an anomaly in seismic data.

When looking at the data, scientists were baffled by a peculiar phenomena, the sound waves appeared to speed up when passing through the roots of ancient cratons.

But other researchers have suggested some alternative explanations: Garber added perhaps, these cratonic are cooler than the suggestions of rock literature, which means that the rock will harden - and thus, seismic waves will travel more quickly through them - even without the diamonds or eclogite rock.

Don't tell the Hatton Garden gang: scientists just unearthed an eye-watering hoard of diamonds, so valuable it would completely destroy the world's economy.

The researchers set out to determine the composition of the cratonic roots to understand what may be causing the spikes. "One of its special properties is that the sound velocity in diamond is more than twice as fast as in the dominant mineral in upper mantle rocks, olivine".

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Mr Faul said, 'Diamond in many ways is special.

That amount was 1-2% of the craton. In addition, the small fraction of diamond would not affect the overall density of a craton, which has less density than the surrounding mantle.

Conducted by scientists from several universities in the USA, the U.K., France, Germany, China, and Australia, the research initially began by following a completely different phenomenon - the unusual propagation of sound waves through ancient cratonic roots.

'This is how they preserve the oldest rocks. But researchers say it proves diamonds aren't as rare as we once thought.

"It's circumstantial evidence, but we've pieced it all together", Faul says. The eruptions carve out geologic pipes made from kimberlite.

Diamonds fetch their lofty price tags because they form over millions of years under high pressures and temperatures deep within the Earth's crust.

This research was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation.



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