A grain found in South Africa is making the scientific community curious which is named Goldschmidtite. This is because something new and unknown “born in the womb” of the earth appeared.
As mentioned above, a single grain of rock housed in a diamond contains a mineral never found before.
New unknown mineral was named Goldschmidtite
According to the study, published in the American Mineralogist magazine, this new mineral was named “goldschmidtite”. The name was named after acclaimed geochemist Victor Moritz Goldschmidt.
The mantle, as mentioned, has a thickness of just under 3,000 kilometers. However, there is enormous difficulty in studying the lower regions of the layer. The intense pressure and warmth of the upper mantle transform humble carbon deposits into brilliant diamonds.
Rocks trap other mantle minerals in their structures and can be pushed to the planet’s surface by underground volcanic eruptions. Thus, by analyzing mineral inclusions in diamonds, scientists can get a glimpse of the chemical processes that occur far below the crust.
Peculiar mineral coming from a diamond in the center of the earth
The study authors noted that for a mantle mineral, goldschmidtite has a peculiar chemical composition.
Goldschmidtite has high concentrations of niobium, potassium and the rare earth elements lanthanum and cerium, while the rest of the mantle is dominated by other elements such as magnesium and iron.
Potassium and niobium make up most of the mineral, which means that relatively rare elements have been pooled and concentrated to form the unusual substance, although other nearby elements are more abundant.
The study co-author Nicole Meyer, a doctoral student at the University of Alberta, Canada, explained in a note.
Goldschmidtite is highly unusual for a diamond-captured inclusion and gives us a snapshot of the fluid processes that affect the deep roots of continents during diamond formation, geochemist Graham Pearson, Meyer’s co-supervisor, concluded in the statement.
In any case, this mineral will now be a reference. It is currently stored at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.