Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Researchers discovered an amazing phenomenon where diamonds come out of a ‘fountain’ that occurs after a major volcanic eruption.
According to LiveScience, diamond stones form in the earth’s crust, which is about 150 kilometers below the surface. Diamonds that rise to the surface very quickly during eruptions are kimberlites. Kimberlites move at speeds between 18 and 133 km/h.
According to professor of earth and climate sciences at the University of Southampton, Thomas Gernon, some eruptions can create explosions of gas and dust, such as Mount Vesuvius, Italy.
Photo: REUTERS/Hannah McKay
An assistant holds a 102.34 carat white diamond at Sotheby’s auction house in London, Britain February 8, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
The researchers found that kimberlite most often occurs when tectonic plates are moving on a large scale.
“Diamonds have been at the bottom of continents for hundreds of millions or even billions of years,” said Gernon, quoted Monday (21/8/2023).
“There must have been some sudden stimulus pushing them out of the bowels of the earth because this eruption is very strong and big,” he continued
Gernon and his colleagues found that over the last 500 million years, there has been a pattern in which the Earth’s plates began to pull apart. Then, 22 to 30 million years later, the kimberlite eruptions reach their peak.
As another example, researchers found that kimberlite eruptions are increasing in areas of Africa and South America. The eruption began about 25 million years after the split of the southern continent of Gondwana about 180 million years ago.
Currently, North America is also said to be experiencing a spike in kimberlite eruptions after Pangea began to divide about 250 million years ago. Interestingly, these kimberlite eruptions started at the edges of the fissures and moved toward the land mass’s centroid.
Through computer models of the Earth’s inner crust and upper mantle, the researchers found that as tectonic plates separate, the continental crust’s base becomes thinner allowing hot rock to rise to the surface, come into contact with boundaries, cool and sink again, creating areas of local circulation.
This unstable area can trigger instability in the surrounding area, slowly moving thousands of miles to the center of the continent. According to the researchers’ report on July 26, 2023, these findings match the pattern of kimberlite eruptions that started near the rift zone and moved to the interior of the continent.
However, how did this instability lead to explosive eruptions from within the Earth’s crust? Gernon says it all lies in mixing the right ingredients. This instability is sufficient to allow the rocks of the upper mantle and lower crust to move past one another.
This process mixes a variety of rocks that contain large amounts of water and carbon dioxide trapped within, along with many kimberlite minerals, including diamonds.
Gernon stated, these findings could be useful in searching for undiscovered diamond reserves.