Diamond impurities indicate water flows deep in Earth's mantle too

One of the two large diamonds found at the Yubileynaya mine in Yakutia

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A group of scientists led by Oliver Tschauner, a professor of geoscience from the University of Nevada, have discovered a form of super-dense ice known as ice-VII on Earth for the first time. The fundamental strain to make it can be found on Earth, yet our planet is for the most part too warm to shape Ice-VII, not to mention keep it stable.

According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, ice-VII differs from regular ice, or ice-I, as oxygen atoms are arranged in a cubic shape, instead of hexagonal shape.

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In order to conduct tests and find out what they can about what the Earth's mantle is made out of, diamonds that were brought up from it which, as we are about to see, indicate a lot.

There, diamonds are sometimes formed from carbon due to the intense pressure beneath the crust.

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The mantle is very hot, so there's no way for ice to form there. The International Mineralogical Association has just recognized Ice-VII as a mineral. Increase the pressure once gain and the atoms will rearrange themselves into ice-III, then IV, V, VI and VII. When diamonds are being created, these inclusions get transported up to the surface together with some of them and do not change in volume or in pressure from the time they get encapsulated.

"Usually the extremely deep minerals that come up to the surface are not stable once they experience low pressures", George Rossman, a Caltech mineralogist who worked on the study told the LA Times.

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As the name implies, there are several types of ice that distinguish our common variety of frozen water from Ice-VII, each more dense than the last. Tschauner and colleagues findings were published today in Science.

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