Quadrillion Tons of Diamonds Have Been Found beneath Earth’s Surface
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology used seismic technology and discovered quadrillion tons of diamonds
MASSACHUSETTS: A new study led by MIT discovered that there are quadrillion tons of diamonds beneath Earth’s surface. That’s roughly 1,000,000,000,000,000 diamonds, or one thousand times more than one trillion.
However, they are far from being easily extracted as they are located 90 to 150 miles below the surface of our planet, which is much deeper than what current mining machinery are able to reach. For example, the Mir Diamond Mine in Russia can only go about a third of a mile deep.
How researchers were able to deliver these numbers
Researchers used seismic technology, as it uses sound waves that are able to make measurements due to their speed changing according to the composition they meet, as well as on temperature and density of the rocks and minerals they are traveling through.
Deep in the Earth there are cratons, which as masses of rock in the shapes of upside-down mountains. They are usually cooler and far less dense than any surrounding rock, which results in faster sound waves.
However, scientists were able to observe that the waves travel even faster when they move through the bottom of the cratons, also known as their roots. With this information, they decided to put together virtual rocks, made from various combinations of materials, and used three-dimensional models to compare the velocities of sound through all these variations.
They already knew that sound travels twice as fast through diamonds in comparison to other rocks, so it was easy to draw the conclusion that there had to be some in the cratons.
“Diamonds are a perfect match because they’re a little bit more dense, but we don’t need a lot of them,” said Ulrich Faul, rsearchers in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences