‘Quadrillion tons’ of diamonds located 160km below Earth’s surface, researchers say
The incredible discovery was made by scientists at MIT, Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley after they analyzed seismic records.
"Diamond in many ways is special," Dr. Ulrich Faul, a research scientist at MIT, said. "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."
The team found that sound was moving much faster than expected within sections of rock known as cratonic roots. 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.
"This shows that diamond is not perhaps this exotic mineral, but on the [geological] scale of things, it's relatively common," Faul said
However, the diamonds are buried more than 160km (100 miles) beneath the Earth's surface – making it unlikely the discovery will spark a diamond rush. The deepest drill ever made was at a depth of 12 kilometers (7.5 miles), in the Kola Superdeep Borehole in Russia. The boring took 20 years to complete, underscoring that we are a long way off from having the technology to tap into the massive diamond deposits below us.
Faul admitted the evidence of the mind-melting subterranean diamond reserves is “circumstantial” but says it was the only reasonable explanation for the data they had collected.
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