JAKARTA: More than a quadrillion tons of diamonds may be hidden in the Earth's interior, as per a new study by the MIT and other universities. However, don't hope for a diamond rush. Why? Because these diamonds are likely to be buried more than 100 miles below the surface, far deeper than any drilling expedition has ever reached.
Given that a ton of diamonds is 50,000,000 carats, each carat is worth 3,000 pounds at least, which comes out a hefty 150,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds by relatively unscientific calculations, as per a report in the netralnews.
Shaped like inverted mountains, cratons can stretch as deep as 200 miles through the Earth’s crust and into its mantle, geologists refer to their deepest sections as “roots.”
Scientists have estimated that the cratonic roots may contain 1 to 2 per cent diamond. Considering the volume of cratonic roots, it is estimated that about a quadrillion (1016) tons of diamond are scattered within these ancient rocks.
Scientists came to the conclusion after puzzling over an anomaly in seismic data, as per an MIT release. For the past few decades, agencies such as the United States Geological Survey have kept global records of seismic activity — essentially, sound waves traveling through the Earth that are triggered by earthquakes, tsunamis, explosions, and other ground-shaking sources. Seismic receivers around the world pick up sound waves from such sources, at various speeds and intensities, which seismologists can use to determine where, for example, an earthquake originated.
However, in using seismic data to map the Earth’s interior, scientists have been unable to explain a curious anomaly: Sound waves tend to speed up significantly when passing through the roots of ancient cratons. Cratons are known to be colder and less dense than the surrounding mantle, which would in turn yield slightly faster sound waves, but not quite as fast as what has been measured.