Scientists discover a new mineral
Scientists found the new mineral (Davemaoite) inside a diamond. This is the first time that lower mantle minerals have ever been observed in nature.
Davemaoite has a perovskite crystalline structure that can only be created under extreme pressure and heat, like the conditions found between 660-900 km deep, in the Earth’s mantle, which lies between the crust and the core.
If the mineral were to travel to the upper layers of the Earth, it would quickly break down into other minerals. That is why no one has seen it before. But the new mineral was preserved inside a diamond, allowing it to move from deep in the Earth to where humans could find it.
Davemaoite is composed mainly of Calcium silicate. But it can collect radioactive isotopes that create a lot of heat deep in Earth’s mantle, the layer between the crust and core. That means the mineral is a critical part of how heat moves deep in the Earth, influencing plate tectonics.