October 6, 2022

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Earth's mantle contains mysterious structures, and scientists have suggested what they could be

Earth’s mantle contains mysterious structures, and scientists have suggested what they could be

Elements such as iron and carbon, combined with water – present at the above limits – can be components of diamond. For this to happen, of course, sufficiently high temperatures and pressures are needed, but laboratory experiments have shown that such a scenario is very realistic.

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Given the fact that deep within the surface of our planet there are some anomalies, even in the form of surprisingly large amounts of carbon, there are probably diamond “factories” behind them. Let’s not forget about the so-called ULVZ, or Ultra Low Speed ​​Zones. There are at least two areas known to science: one under Africa and one under the Pacific Ocean.

Some scientists believe that the ULVZ is made up of elements that trace its origins back to Earth. On the other hand, new research suggests that they may have arisen as a result of tectonic movements that began about three billion years after the birth of our planet. Detailed arrangements are available on this page Geophysical Research Letters.

Diamonds will form between the Earth’s mantle and core

The study’s lead author, Sang-Heon Shim, explains that water can exist at the interface between the mantle and the core, triggering the chemical reactions that make diamonds possible. To see if this was possible in practice, team members subjected selected components to a pressure chamber at a pressure of about 140 GPa. On the other hand, the temperature rose to nearly 3800°C.

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Under these conditions, a cleavage occurs between the oxygen and hydrogen molecules that make up the water. Then the iron attracts hydrogen by pressure, and the oxygen in the water remains in the shell. On the other hand, hydrogen combines with the core, displacing lighter elements such as carbon, which are pushed into the mantle from the core. The most stable form of carbon at high pressures occurring at the described limits has been shown to be diamond.

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In order to find out whether this hypothesis is correct, the lead author suggests two ways to search for evidence. The first involves finding areas that could be diamond clusters near the core mantle barrier. The second is the analysis of diamond, which appears to come from the deepest layers of the Earth’s mantle.