Diamonds together with Chocolate: New Volcanic Process Discovered

A diamond inwards kimberlite rock, Jwaneng Diamond Mine, Republic of Botswana (University of Southampton)

Chocolate as well as diamonds: Why volcanoes could live ‘a girl’s best friend’

Scientists from the University of Southampton bring discovered a previously unrecognised volcanic process, similar to 1 that is used inwards chocolate manufacturing, which gives of import novel insights into the dynamics of volcanic eruptions.

The squad studied how a procedure called ‘fluidized spray granulation’ tin dismiss occur during kimberlite eruptions to attain well-rounded particles containing fragments from the Earth’s mantle, close notably diamonds. This physical procedure is similar to the gas injection as well as spraying procedure used to shape smoothen coatings on confectionary, as well as layered as well as delayed-release coatings inwards the industry of pharmaceuticals as well as fertilizers.

Kimberlite volcanoes are the main source of diamonds on Earth, as well as are formed past times gas-rich magmas from pall depths of over 150 km. Kimberlite volcanism involves high-intensity explosive eruptions, forming diverging pipes or ‘diatremes’, which tin dismiss live several hundred meters broad as well as several kilometers deep. Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 conspicuous as well as previously mysterious characteristic of these pipes are ‘pelletal lapilli ’ – well-rounded magma coated fragments of stone consisting of an inner ‘seed’ particle alongside a complex rim, idea to stand upwards for quenched magma.

These pelletal lapilli shape past times spray granulation when kimberlite magma intrudes into before volcaniclastic infill approximately the diatreme root zone. Intensive degassing produces a gas jet inwards which the seed particles are simultaneously fluidized as well as coated past times a spray of low-viscosity melt.

In kimberlites, the occurrence of pelletal lapilli is linked to diamond aeroplane (carats per tonne), size as well as quality, as well as thus has economical equally good equally academic significance.

“The source of pelletal lapilli is of import for agreement how magmatic pyroclasts are transported to the surface during explosive eruptions, offering substitution novel insights into eruption dynamics as well as constraints on vent conditions, notably gas velocity,” said doc Thomas Gernon, a lecturer inwards footing scientific discipline at the University of Southampton as well as a Pb writer of the written report published inwards the mag Nature Communications.

“The mightiness to tightly constrain gas velocities is significant, equally it enables estimation of the maximum diamond size transported inwards the flow. Gas fluidisation as well as magma-coating processes are likewise probable to deport on the diamond surface properties.”

The scientists studied 2 of the world’s largest diamond mines inwards South Africa as well as Lesotho. In the Letseng pipage inwards Lesotho, pelletal lapilli bring been constitute inwards association alongside concentrations of large diamonds (up to 215 carat), which individually tin dismiss fetch upwards to tens of millions of pounds. Knowledge of menstruum dynamics volition inform models of mineral transport, as well as ultimately could amend resources assessments.

The higher upwards post is reprinted from materials provided past times University of Southampton.