Watts Up With That?

Unique diamond impurities indicate water deep in Earth’s mantle

Scientific analysis of diamond impurities — known as inclusions — reveal naturally forming ice crystals and point to water-rich regions deep below the Earth’s crust


A UNLV scientist has discovered the first direct evidence that fluid water pockets may exist as far as 500 miles deep into the Earth’s mantle.

Groundbreaking research by UNLV geoscientist Oliver Tschauner and colleagues found diamonds pushed up from the Earth’s interior had traces of unique crystallized water called Ice-VII.

Ice VII structure – image from Martin Chaplan

The study, “Ice-VII inclusions in Diamonds: Evidence for aqueous fluid in Earth’s deep Mantle,” was published Thursday in the journal Science.

In the jewelry business, diamonds with impurities hold less value. But for Tschauner and other scientists, those impurities, known as inclusions have infinite value, as they may hold the key…

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