Science & Society Features
July 21, 2011
Diamonds are valuable gemstones that are prized for their beauty, rarity, and mystique throughout the world. But diamonds are also valuable to geologists studying Earth environments in the mantle, about 125 miles below ancient continental cratons, where intense metamorphic temperatures and pressures exist. Volcanic eruptions originating at great depth form kimberlite “pipes,” which incorporate diamond-bearing mantle rock into the magma and deliver them to the surface. The linked article presents a novel way of using impurities in diamonds, called “inclusions,” to study ancient Earth processes. The research was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, which is the federal agency that supports original research and education in all scientific fields.
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