Scientists have discovered inside the diamond that formed in the Earth’s mantle, the mineral deivmaite. It was believed that he simply could not exist.
In a diamond extracted from the depths of the Earth, scientists have discovered the first sample of a previously unseen mineral – davemaoite. This is the first high-pressure calcium silicate perovskite (CaSiO₃) specimen found on Earth.
Another form of CaSiO₃, known as wollastonite, is found throughout the world. But the crystal structure of davemaoite is formed only under high pressure and at high temperatures. Such conditions exist in the Earth’s mantle – a solid layer between the outer core and the crust.
This high-pressure form of calcium silicate was predicted more than half a century ago. Since then, scientists have not yet been able to fix it, since deivmoite is extremely sensitive to pressure changes.
However, this time geologists were still able to discover the rarest mineral by observing the scattering of X-rays from the surface of a diamond. They analyzed a sample from Botswana, which formed in the mantle at a depth of about 660 km from the Earth’s surface, and revealed a sample of an entire davemaoite trapped inside. As a result, the International Mineralogical Association designated davemaite as a new mineral.
Deivmaite is believed to play an important geochemical role in the Earth’s mantle. Scientists speculate that the mineral may also contain other trace elements, including uranium and thorium, which generate heat through radioactive decay. It is possible that deivmaite contributes to the release of heat in the mantle.