Scientists discover a new mineral from the depths of the earth – archyde

Scientists have discovered a new mineral that has never been seen before. And to add to the miracle, the unearthed mineral was trapped in a diamond.

Rare as a diamond: Scientists found the new mineral davemaoite in a diamond – an even rarer sight than the diamond itself. To call the new mineral rare is an understatement. Davemaoit had never been seen before.

Scientists had theorized the existence of this mineral since the 1970s – but now they have the evidence. This is “the first time that lower mantle minerals have been observed in nature”, according to on a press release from the University of Nevada, Las Vega, which led the discovery.

Davemaoite has one Perowskit Crystalline structure that can only arise under extreme pressure and heat, such as occurs between 660 and 900 kilometers depth in the earth’s mantle, which lies between the crust and the core.

This is “the first time lower mantle minerals have been observed in nature”.

If the mineral were to get into the upper layers of the earth, it would quickly break down into other minerals. That’s why nobody has seen it yet. But this time the new mineral was kept in a diamond so that it could get from the depths of the earth to where people could find it.

“It is the strength of the diamond that keeps the inclusions under high pressure,” says geochemist Oliver Tschauner, who led the discovery. told Nature.

A diamond in the rough: The green diamond was excavated in a mine in Botswana decades ago, so the new mineral has been hiding in sight since then. Eventually it got to George Rossman, a mineralogist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Then, a few years ago, Rossman and Tschauner began taking a closer look at the gemstone and exposing it to X-rays to reveal more details about the minerals it contained – including the presence of the mineral davemaoite.

“It is the strength of the diamond that keeps the inclusions under high pressure.”

Oliver Tschauner

Tschauner named the mineral after Ho-kwang ‘Dave’ Mao, a geologist known for his pioneering work in high pressure geochemistry. This particular diamond likely formed between 410 and 560 miles below the earth’s surface, making it a “super deep” diamond. The diamond that captured the mineral particles was tough enough to get to the surface undamaged. Reports Popular science.

Tschauner’s team from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas reported the discovery in the magazine science. They say the discovery offers a unique glimpse into deep earth chemistry.

“For jewelers and buyers, the size, color and clarity of a diamond are important, and inclusions – these black spots that annoy the jeweler – are a gift for us,” said Tschauner in a opinion.

Davemaoite consists mainly of calcium silicate. But it can collect radioactive isotopes that generate a lot of heat deep in the Earth’s mantle, the layer between the crust and the core. That means the mineral is a crucial part of how heat moves deep within the earth and affects plate tectonics, reports Nature.

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