Diamonds Rise To Surface
How do we supply the world’s increasing demand of diamonds when we have depleted the mines? The answer is to look within. Just like the oil sands may help the oil shortage in a couple of years, we may have discovered a new source for diamonds. A research team has uncovered a volcanic process that carries diamonds from the Earth’s mantle to the surface.
The trip takes less than two days and brings gems up from depths of about 120 kilometers, and it is a rough ride. Heading the research process is Kelly Russell, a volcanologist at the University of British Columbia. His research indicates rocks containing diamonds -which formed millions of years ago- are picked up by hot, molten rock and carried along as the molten magma forces its way up and then explodes at the surface.
Boulders that are carried up by the magma which may contain diamonds make up about 45% of what goes to the surface. What puzzled researchers was how the rising magma could carry these heavy boulders, some up to 28 inches across, against gravity in those long distances. The secret lies in the silica-rich minerals that produces gas and foam that enables the magma to carry the loads of diamond-bearing rocks upwards.
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