Can carbon dating used diamonds

can carbon dating used diamonds-14can carbon dating used diamonds-46

I want to look at how diamonds are distributed across continental terranes with regard to how the continent was put together.” “I want to go back in Earth’s history to see if the pattern of diamond growth and diamond history tells us anything unique about the evolution of Earth as a planet,” Shirey says. We’re taking these tiny grains—very, very small—and using the systematic change in chemistry to say something about our entire planet.” In ancient continental areas, there’s a significant keel, or downward protrusion into the mantle, where conditions are stable enough to preserve diamonds for many hundreds of millions of years.

Recent discoveries show that diamonds might form beneath subduction zones at great depths, and that very rarely plumes in the earth’s mantle move them up to where kimberlites can bring them to the earth’s surface.

“We have to go to a mine or some place that’s being very aggressively prospected so that they’re processing large amounts of kimberlite for diamond grade.” Diamonds are trace minerals in the rock—kimberlite, or more rarely a lamproite as in Australia’s Argyle mine—that carried them up from the mantle.

“A diamond in a kimberlite occurs at the part-per-billion level,” says Shirey, “so the average person walking around on a kimberlite is not going to find a diamond sitting there—that’s an extremely rare occurrence.” Once researchers have traveled to suitable mining or exploration operations, where large amounts of diamond-bearing ore are produced, they have to pick through the production.

These “superdeep” diamonds provide Shirey and other scientists a tantalizing window into the workings of the deeper mantle.

Last modified 03-Jul-2017 14:07