Rare metamorphic diamonds discovered could reveal Australia’s ancient history

Working with a colleague from the University of Adelaide, three academics from James Cook University have discovered metamorphic diamonds in rocks near Australia’s northeast coast. Alexander Edgar, Ioan Sanislav, Paul Dirks and Karl Spandler describe how they discovered the tiny diamond in their research, which has been published in the journal Science Advances. They also explain why they believe the discovery will help shed light on Australia’s early history and construction.

Diamonds that have undergone metamorphosis only sometimes develop in specific places. Their size ranges from micro to nano-scale. Rare diamonds form in subduction zones, where the pressure of plates rubbing against each other for millions of years is so low that they cannot be seen with the naked eye. On Earth, they have only been discovered in six other places. The Clark River Fault, which formed when crustal blocks were forced together around 500 million years ago, was the site of much of what the researchers found in their current investigation.

When one of his students noted rock formations, he noticed that they appeared to form when a tectonic plate pushed them from surrounding land, so researchers began to see rocks along the line of fault. Gave.

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According to the researchers, the diamonds they saw were first discovered in the Gondwana-Pacific region of the Terra Australis Orogen. Additionally, they point out that since metamorphic diamonds can only be formed under extremely specific conditions, researching them and where they are found can help uncover additional details about Australia’s formation. can help.

(with contributions from agencies)