Scientists find cosmic ice on Earth

Study Secrets to Earth's interior found trapped in diamonds

Study Secrets to Earth's interior found trapped in diamonds

The discovery of Ice-VII in the diamonds is the first known natural occurrence of the aqueous fluid from the deep mantle.

"The presence of water in the diamond has always been known, but the discovery of the shape of the ice formed under ultrahigh pressure, we really struck", says Professor George Rossman.

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Researchers stumbled onto a native ice-VII sample by accident, inside a diamond formed deep in the Earth's mantle, as much as 400 miles beneath the crust.

Scientists have had a very tough time dealing and trying to find more about what rests in the Earth's deep mantle since access to it is, to say the least, very hard.

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"These discoveries are important in understanding that water-rich regions in the Earth's interior can play a role in the global water budget and the movement of heat-generating radioactive elements", Tschauner said. Scientists dis a couple of small inclusions in the diamonds that they got which lead them to see the mineral and chemical composition of Earth. The type of ice known as ice VII, is cube-shaped and about 1.5 times denser than normal ice, so-called type-I. Thanks to the find, ice-VII has now officially been recognized as a mineral by the International Mineralogical Association. Ice-VII crystallizes as it ascends but it still retains its very high pressure of around 24 gigapascals. The further we go down, the more intense the heat and pressure becomes. "It's another piece of puzzle in understanding how our planet works". But as water is compressed, the molecules begins to take on different shapes. That ice in your soda is technically known as ice-I in which water molecules are arranged in a hexagonal shape. Tschauner also found that while under the confines of hardened diamonds found on the surface of the planet, Ice-VII is solid.

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