Scientists have discovered an underwater landscape in the Earth’s lower mantle, more than 400 miles below the surface.

Scientists from the American Gemological Institute, studying the Earth’s deep water cycle, have examined an extremely rare gem gem discovered at the Karowe mine in Botswana. The gem, which originates from a depth of 410 miles below the Earth’s surface, contains a protected sample of the Earth’s lower mantle.

Analysis of the diamond showed that it contained hydrated minerals, ringwoodite, enstatite and ferropericase. According to the findings published in the journal Science about naturethis shows evidence that the aquatic environment extends across the Earth’s lower mantle.

The Earth’s lower mantle makes up about 56 percent of the total volume. It lies 410 to 1,800 miles below the Earth’s surface. However, the deepest borehole on Earth is 7.5 miles, making it difficult for scientists to pin down what’s below.

The photo shows a diamond that contained three minerals that testify to an aquatic environment deep below the Earth’s surface.
D. Renfro and Tingting Gu.

Water from Earth’s oceans is transported by hydrated minerals deep into the Earth. Volcanic activity causes the water to return to the surface.

The new discoveries could help scientists better understand this deep water cycle.

The lead author of the study, Tingting Gu of the Gemological Institute of America, said Newsweek that the scraps of mantle collected from this diamond provide “factual evidence” of what the Earth’s lower mantle looks like.

“[This] is one of the best datasets to understand the mantle convection and the water cycle, and scientists can directly use our results to build their geological models, ‘said Gu. “Water is very important to our life, and the existence of liquid water on our planet is also unique. The depth of the water that may be stored in the Earth’s interior will determine the timescale for the return to the surface and will affect the state of the Earth’s surface water supply and the distribution of water in the Earth’s mantle. Water is important […]because the small amount of water in the depths will be of great importance to the physical and chemical properties of the mantle and its convection. “

Gu said the depth of the water that can be stored inside the Earth determines its timescale in the return-to-surface cycle.

The coexistence of ringwoodite and other minerals in diamond determines the existence of the aquatic environment.

“[The] a deep diamond hides an interesting inclusion with ringwoodite in equilibrium with ferropericlase and enstatite (retrogressive brdgmanite) […] least shown by this diamond, we have not seen a chemical block in this transition zone and the lower mantle boundary, which means that water and peridotite (the common rock of the upper mantle) can pass through this boundary, ”Gu said.

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