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Ringwoodite diamond : an ocean twenty thousand leagues under the continents

A treasured diamond of less than one carat was recently found in Brazil; it features a tiny inclusion full of promises and rich in information called ringwoodite. This crystal has the same chemical composition as the olivine, one of the most common minerals of the Earth's mantle.

The ringwoodite is found in the transition zone between the superior and inferior mantles at 400-600km depth and contains approximately 1% water in the form of hydroxyl and hydrogen groups. This diamond with a ringwoodite crystal was brought to the surface by a kimberlite eruption both powerful and rapid. According to Graham Pearson in Nature's 12th March, 2014 issue, a mantle geochemist at the Alberta University, this discovery supports the idea of the existence of a vast water reservoir underground which is explained by two conflicting theories. For some scientists the water has been carried underground as a result of plate tectonics in a subduction zone, for others the water was trapped deep in the mantle during the Earth formation.

This diamond and its ringwoodite crystal have still many secrets to unveil. They were formed way down deep at depths that remain inaccessible, current drillings don't exceed 12km depth. They are witnesses of what happens in the underground and nourish our imagination of a water rush, as water could become more coveted and precious than gold in the future.

Source: http://www.nature.com/news/ tiny-diamond-impurity-reveals- water-riches-of-deep-earth-1. 14862