A UNLV scientist has discovered the first direct evidence that fluid water pockets may exist as far as 500 miles deep into the Earth’s mantle.Rgarding the title:
Groundbreaking research by UNLV geoscientist Oliver Tschauner and colleagues found diamonds pushed up from the Earth’s interior had traces of unique crystallized water called Ice-VII.
The study, “Ice-VII inclusions in Diamonds: Evidence for aqueous fluid in Earth’s deep Mantle,” was published Thursday in the journal Science.
In the jewelry business, diamonds with impurities hold less value. But for Tschauner and other scientists, those impurities, known as inclusions have infinite value, as they may hold the key to understanding the inner workings of our planet.
For his study, Tschauner used diamonds found in China, the Republic of South Africa, and Botswana that surged up from inside Earth. “This shows that this is a global phenomenon,” the professor said.
Scientists theorize the diamonds used in the study, were born in the mantle under temperatures reaching more than 1,000-degrees Fahrenheit.
The mantle – which makes up more than 80 percent of the Earth’s volume – is made of silicate minerals containing iron, aluminum, and calcium among others.
And now we can add water to the list.
The discovery of Ice-VII in the diamonds is the first known natural occurrence of the aqueous fluid from the deep mantle. Ice-VII had been found in prior lab testing of materials under intense pressure. Tschauner also found that while under the confines of hardened diamonds found on the surface of the planet, Ice-VII is solid. But in the mantel, it is liquid.
Ice-nine is a fictional material that appears in Kurt Vonnegut's novel Cat's Cradle. Ice-nine is described as a polymorph of water which instead of melting at 0 °C (32 °F), melts at 45.8 °C (114.4 °F). When ice-nine comes into contact with liquid water below 45.8 °C (thus effectively becoming supercooled), it acts as a seed crystal and causes the solidification of the entire body of water, which quickly crystallizes as more ice-nine. As people are mostly water, ice-nine kills nearly instantly when ingested or brought into contact with soft tissues exposed to the bloodstream, such as the eyes or tongue.