Science & Tech

Major explosion causes 'fountains of diamonds' to erupt from Earth's crust

Major explosion causes 'fountains of diamonds' to erupt from Earth's crust
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ZMG - Amaze Lab / VideoElephant

The natural world is constantly surprising us, and now new research has suggested that ’fountains of diamonds’ could be sent shooting up to the surface of the Earth as part of a major geological event.

Supercontinents breaking up could send them spewing up from deep within the Earth’s core, according to research undertaken by Thomas Gernon, who is a professor of Earth and climate science at the University of Southampton.

Diamonds are formed around 150 kilometres below our feet and sent firing upwards by kimberlite eruptions which can travel up to 133 kilometres per hour and create enormous explosions on the surface, stated research published in Nature.

Gernon and his team looked into these kimberlites and their research found that the eruptions regularly take place around 22 million to 30 million years after plates begin to pull apart. One of the cases pointed to in the research came around 25 million years after the supercontinent Gondwana began breaking up in now what is Africa and South America.

Diamonds shooting towards the surface?iStock

The pulling apart of the plates leads to rock from the upper mantle and lower crust to mix and flow against each other, causing instability and ultimately leading to the eruptions.

It also leads to rock, water and carbon dioxide combining with minerals like diamonds, which all mixes together to create explosive rushes towards the surface of the Earth – and the researchers hope that their work could help in the search for unexplored diamond deposits.

Gernon said: "The diamonds have been sat at the base of the continents for hundreds of millions or even billions of years. There must be some stimulus that just drives them suddenly, because these eruptions themselves are really powerful, really explosive."

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