Treasures in the bowels of the Earth. Scientists discover 'diamond factory' that has been in operation for billions of years
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Scientists conducted an experiment proving that there is a real “factory” for the production of diamonds on the border of the mantle and the Earth's core.
The Earth's core is essentially the largest carbon store on the planet, about 90% of all carbon. Scientists have studied the boundary between the core and mantle of the Earth and found something fascinating there, writes Sci Tech Daily.
Scientists from Arizona State University conducted a series of experiments to understand what processes are happening deep inside the planet. To do this, they used an advanced photon source at the Argonne National Laboratory. The researchers created conditions similar to those at the boundary of the Earth's core and mantle, and then placed water, an alloy of iron and carbon, in them.
During the experiment, scientists found that water and metal react under such conditions, forming iron hydroxides, for example, like rust on the surface of the planet. However, that's not all. Much more fascinating was the fact that, under boundary conditions, carbon separates from the iron-metal alloy and forms diamonds.
It turns out that at a depth of about 3 thousand kilometers under the Earth's surface, a real diamond factory is hidden, which operates at a temperature at about 3.9 thousand degrees Celsius.
During the experiment, scientists found that the solubility of carbon located in the Earth's core is significantly reduced by dehydration when it enters the mantle. The stable form of carbon at the boundary between the core and the mantle is just diamond. Scientists believe that when carbon leaves the liquid core and enters the mantle, it transforms into diamond. It turns out that a real “factory” for the production of diamonds is working deep in the bowels of the planet and it is already billions of years old – since the beginning of subduction on Earth.
Scientists believe that their data will shed light on the carbon cycle in the bowels of the Earth and a number of geological processes.