Diamond hauled from deep inside Earth holds never-before-seen mineral


Researchers discovered the mineral davemaoite inside a diamond that was formed in Earth’s mantle. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Within a diamond hauled from deep beneath Earth’s surface, scientists have discovered the first example of a never-before-seen mineral.

Named davemaoite after prominent geophysicist Ho-kwang (Dave) Mao, the mineral is the first example of a high-pressure calcium silicate perovskite (CaSiO3) found on Earth. Another form of CaSiO3, known as wollastonite, is commonly found across the globe, but davemaoite has a crystalline structure that forms only under high pressure and high temperatures in Earth’s mantle, the mainly solid layer of Earth trapped between the outer core and the crust.



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