Geochemical evidence for high volatile fluxes from the mantle at the end of the Archaean

Gas and volatiles (water, carbon dioxide, halogens, nitrogen, noble gases etc.) locked away deep within the Earth are released to the atmosphere during volcanic eruptions. The build up of these gases over geological timescales has been crucial in forming and maintaining the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, both of which have been crucial for the development … Read more

Geochemists measure new composition of Earth’s mantle

What is the chemical composition of the Earth’s interior? Because it is impossible to drill more than about ten kilometres deep into the Earth, volcanic rocks formed by melting Earth’s deep interior often provide such information. Geochemists at the Universities of Münster (Germany) and Amsterdam (Netherlands) have investigated the volcanic rocks that build up the … Read more

Superdeep diamonds confirm ancient reservoir deep under Earth’s surface

Scientists have long suspected that an area of the Earth’s mantle, somewhere between the crust and the core, contains a vast reservoir of rock, comparatively undisturbed since the planet’s formation. Until now, there has been no firm proof if or where it exists. Now an international group of scientists has measured helium isotopes contained in … Read more

Scientists reveal ocean volcanoes have deep magmatic roots

Cardiff University scientists and collaborators at the University of Bristol and Open University have revealed the true extent of the internal ‘plumbing system’ that drives volcanic activity around the world. By examining pockets of magma contained as inclusions within crystals the large chambers of molten rock which feed volcanoes have been revealed to extend up … Read more

Where do blue (boron-bearing) diamonds come from?

Type IIa diamonds are by definition stones which have very low nitrogen contents, below analytical detection limits. The presence of nitrogen in a diamond results in a yellow colour, but stones which do not have nitrogen impurities can have excellent white colours, including the top D-colour category. Some Type II diamonds can be very large, … Read more