Scientists Uncover Key Missing Ingredient

Pink Diamonds

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Researchers from Curtin University have actually determined a crucial component in the development of pink diamonds by studying the Argyle volcano. Along with the requirement for deep carbon and tectonic plate crashes, the extending of continents throughout continental splits produces paths for diamond-bearing lava to surface area.

Curtin University scientists studying diamond-rich rocks from Western Australia’s Argyle volcano have actually determined the missing out on 3rd crucial component required to bring important pink diamonds to the Earth’s surface area where they can be mined, which might significantly assist in the worldwide hunt for brand-new deposits.

Role of ‘Stretching’ in Diamond Emergence

While it is understood that for diamonds to form there requires to be carbon deep in the Earth, and for these diamonds to turn pink they should undergo forces from clashing tectonic plates, the brand-new research study has actually discovered the 3rd component required for the existence of pink diamonds at surface area level, which is continents that were ‘stretched’ throughout continental split numerous countless years back.

Lead scientist Dr Hugo Olierook, from Curtin’s John de Laeter Centre, stated the ‘stretching’ of landmasses developed spaces in the Earth’s crust through which diamond-carrying lava might increase to the surface area.

“By using laser beams smaller than the width of a human hair on rocks supplied by Rio Tinto, we found Argyle to be 1.3 billion years old, which is 100 million years older than previously thought, meaning it would likely have formed as a result of an ancient supercontinent breaking apart,”Dr Olierook stated.

“Argyle lies at the point where the Kimberley area and the rest of northern Australia smashed together several years prior, which sort of crash produces a broken location or ‘scar’ in the land that will never ever completely recover.

“While the continent that would end up being Australia didn’t separate, the location where Argyle is located was extended, consisting of along the scar, which developed spaces in the Earth’s crust for lava to soar through to the surface area, bringing with it pink diamonds.

“As long as these 3 components exist– deep carbon, continental crash, and after that extending– then we believe it will be possible to discover the ‘next Argyle’, which was as soon as the world’s biggest source of natural diamonds.”

Argyle’s Significance in the Diamond World

Dr Olierook stated even with the understanding of these 3 components, discovering another chest of pink diamonds will not lack its obstacles.

“Most diamond deposits have been found in the middle of ancient continents because their host volcanoes tend to be exposed at the surface for explorers to find,” Dr Olierook stated.

“Argyle is at the suture of two of these ancient continents, and these edges are often covered by sand and soil, leaving the possibility that similar pink diamond-bearing volcanoes still sit undiscovered, including in Australia.”

Co- author and primary geologist Murray Rayner, from Rio Tinto, stated the Argyle volcano has actually produced more than 90 percent of the world’s pink diamonds, making it an unequaled source of these uncommon and desired gems.

“Knowing the Argyle volcano’s age, at 1.3 billion years old, and situated where some of Earth’s earliest continents fragmented, we have significant further insights into the formation of these diamonds,” Rayner stated.

Reference: “Emplacement of the Argyle diamond deposit into an ancient rift zone triggered by supercontinent breakup” by Hugo K. H. Olierook, Denis Fougerouse, Luc S. Doucet, Yebo Liu, Murray J. Rayner, Martin Dani šík, Daniel J. Condon, Brent I. A. McInnes, A. Lynton Jaques, Noreen J. Evans, Bradley J. McDonald, Zheng-Xiang Li, Christopher L. Kirkland, Celia Mayers and Michael T. D. Wingate, 19 September 2023, < period class ="glossaryLink" aria-describedby ="tt" data-cmtooltip ="<div class=glossaryItemTitle>Nature Communications</div><div class=glossaryItemBody>&lt;em&gt;Nature Communications&lt;/em&gt; is a peer-reviewed, open-access, multidisciplinary, scientific journal published by Nature Portfolio. It covers the natural sciences, including physics, biology, chemistry, medicine, and earth sciences. It began publishing in 2010 and has editorial offices in London, Berlin, New York City, and Shanghai.&nbsp;</div>" data-gt-translate-attributes="[{"attribute":"data-cmtooltip", "format":"html"}]" >NatureCommunications
DOI:101038/ s41467-023 -40904 -8

The authors are associated with theJohn deLaeterCentre, theTimescales ofMineralSystemsGroup and theEarthDynamicsResearchGroup, which sit withinCurtin’sSchool ofEarth andPlanetarySciencesThe work was made it possible for by AuScope and theAustralian Government by means of theNationalCollaborativeResearchInfrastructureStrategy

The research study was moneyed by theGeologicalSurvey ofWesternAustralia