Friday, July 15, 2011

Diamonds are...

...a girls best friend
Diamond in Kimberlite Matrix

Kimberlite is a type of potassic volcanic rock best known for sometimes containing diamonds. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes. Kimberlite pipes are the most important source of mined diamonds today.
More on how these precious stones are formed inside.

Diamonds form about 100 miles (161 km) below the Earth's surface, in the molten rock of the Earth's mantle, which provides the right amounts of pressure and heat to transform carbon into diamond. In order for a diamond to be created, carbon must be placed under at least 435,113 pounds per square inch (psi or 30 kilobars) of pressure at a temperature of at least 752 degrees Fahrenheit (400 Celsius). If conditions drop below either of these two points, graphite will be created. At depths of 93 miles (150 km) or more, pressure builds to about 725,189 psi (50 kilobars) and heat can exceed 2,192 F (1,200 C). Most diamonds that we see today were formed millions (if not billions) of years ago. Powerful magma eruptions brought the diamonds to the surface, creating kimberlite pipes.
Kimberlite pipes are created as magma flows through deep fractures in the Earth. The magma inside the kimberlite pipes acts like an elevator, pushing the diamonds and other rocks and minerals through the mantle and crust in just a few hours.
The magma eventually cooled inside these kimberlite pipes, leaving behind conical veins of kimberlite rock that contain diamonds.
SOURCE: How Stuff Works

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