Unleashing Curiosity, Igniting Discovery - The Science Fusion

Twenty years in the past, deep beneath Botswana’s Kalahari desert, Thomas Gernon discovered himself strolling in what appeared like hell. The temperature soared because the sound of explosions echoed off the partitions. “It was like a baptism of fireside,” he says. It was his first journey right into a kimberlite diamond mine.

The place teemed with cameras and Gernon, now on the College of Southampton within the UK, had been warned of hassle ought to any gems be discovered – by accident or in any other case – on his individual. However he wasn’t right here to search out his fortune. He wished a solution to considered one of Earth’s best mysteries.

Diamonds are valuable to many, however they maintain a particular place within the hearts of geologists. They had been solid way back within the fiery depths of Earth’s inaccessible mantle, dropped at the floor by using on supersonic jets of magma from weird volcanoes referred to as kimberlites.

We don’t know a lot about exactly how diamonds fashioned, however we do know they’re like time capsules that may train us the secrets and techniques of our planet’s distant previous. And maybe the largest query of all is why the kimberlites that propelled them to the floor appear to have gone extinct tens of millions of years in the past.

Now, nearly twenty years since that first go to to a diamond mine, Gernon and his fellow kimberlite detectives might lastly have an all-encompassing mannequin for the way the volcanoes work, and with it a greater understanding of their treasures. What’s extra, this work has uncovered a tantalising prospect – that kimberlites won’t be extinct in spite of everything.

Diamonds, opposite…

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