Posts in DMGC
Earth’s Largest Diamonds Form in Metal-bearing Part of Earth’s Mantle

Super-deep diamonds, which form more than 380 km deep in Earth’s mantle, are invaluable tools for deep carbon scientists. Not only do they harbor clues about how they formed and therefore the reactions taking place inside Earth, they also trap small samples of mantle minerals, so-called inclusions, within their carbon crystal structure as they grow. These tiny samples of Earth’s deep interior from the region where the diamond forms are preserved under high pressure within a super-strong, unreactive diamond shell.

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Third International Diamond School at the University of Alberta, Canada

The Third International Diamond School took place at the University of Alberta, with the Deep Carbon Observatory as the main event sponsor (together with De Beers and IsoMass). DCO's Graham Pearson (Reservoirs and Fluxes Scientific Steering Committee member; University of Alberta, Canada), Steve Shirey (Carnegie Institution for Science Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, USA), Thomas Stachel University of Alberta, Canada), Bob Luth (University of Alberta) and Fabrizio Nestola (University of Padua, Italy) were the principal conveners. The event continued in the tradition of having a mixed participation of students, senior academics, and industry. Seventy-five delegates, including 2 BSc students, and 30 Ph.D and Masters students from Canada, USA, Australia, and the UK attended, along with 18 delegates from industry and Government/Provincial Geological Surveys.

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Superdeep Diamonds Provide Evidence for a Melting Barrier to Deep Carbon Subduction

Carbon is cycled from Earth’s surface to its depths, emerging through the crust from volcanoes, and descending to the mantle in subducting ocean floor. But how far down is the carbon subducted? In a letter by Andrew Thomson, Michael Walter, Simon Kohn, and Richard Brooker (University of Bristol, UK) published in Nature, the authors propose that most carbon goes no deeper than about 300 to 500 kilometers, at which point a carbon barrier limits carbon recycling into the deeper mantle [1].

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Diamond Formation in Ancient, Underground Seawater

Diamonds are crystals of carbon, formed deep in Earth. As diamond crystals grow, they sometimes trap fluids or other mineral crystals, micro-samples of their surrounding environment. In a study published in Nature, a team of scientists, including DCO’s Graham Pearson (University of Alberta, Canada), describes an unexpected mechanism for diamond formation relying on ancient, subducted seawater [1]. 

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