New Mineral :
The world’s strongest stuff has always been a fascination for geologists to find out the secrets hidden deep within the earth.
Well, the recent discovery of a flaw within the diamond has only upped their fascination even more.
A little fragment of rock trapped in a diamond that was mined from a deep Botswana mine has a new mineral that may become a new window to study the earth’s lower mantle.
This new mineral identified as Calcium silicate perovskite is the first to be ever found in a natural sample as the presence of this mineral in the lower mantle was only proved in laboratory experiments before.
The researchers named this new mineral ‘Davemaoite’ on the famous experimental high-pressure geophysicist Ho-Kwang (Dave) Mao.
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The research report on this new mineral was published in the Journal Science. The researchers found that this diamond was formed at depths more than 660 kilometers, the extreme border of the earth’s lower mantle.
Mineralogist Oliver Tschauner and his team from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas identified the structure and chemical composition of Davemaoite in the diamond using analytical techniques like X-ray fluorescence imaging x-ray diffraction, and infrared spectroscopy.
“Scientists had previously estimated that about 5-7 percent of the lower mantle must be made up of this mineral,” said Tschauner in a report.
Just the estimation of the presence of such deep-earth minerals is a real challenge as minerals that are stable under such unimaginable pressures of the lower mantle that stretches to 2,700 kilometers below the ground will rearrange their crystal structures when they are pushed up reducing the pressure on them.
Until 2014, bridgmanite was mostly theoretical (bridgmanite is a magnesium iron silicate, earth’s most common mineral). To date, this is one of the only 2 high-pressure silicate minerals proved and confirmed to be present in nature.
Formed under the ground’s immense pressure, diamonds are like the only reachable window to take a peek at the deep-earth minerals. The confirmation of the presence of this new mineral has not only proved its existence in the natural form but also shows the position of the heat sources deep inside the earth.
The scientists also found that the little flaw in the diamond had other rare-earth and radio-active elements like thorium, uranium, and potassium along with this new mineral.
Researchers think these elements produce a third of the heat that’s coursing in the lower mantle.
They hope to reveal more secrets about the deep-earth with this little flaw of the diamond.