Posted August 1, 2011 by Esslinger Staff
Once Upon a Time, some 3 billion years ago…
It could be the beginning of a the next science-fiction/fairy tale/thriller best-selling novel sensation, but for a couple of geologists this is real life: Imperfections and impurities in diamonds might just hold the secrets of the modern plate tectonic cycle, which were possibly as long as 3 billion years ago.
When it comes to dating things that happened millions, let alone billions, of years ago, geologists have always relied on the rock record, which can be faulty given nature’s constant state of recycling. With diamonds, sulfide and silicate inclusions are even more rare than flawless diamonds, making it a time consuming process for researchers to collect enough diamonds to study. But the results can be amazing.
Despite disagreements over exactly what this evidence might mean, almost all geologists admit that they’ve found something fascinating here. While many geologists are wary to completely support the findings and conclusions of Shirey and Richardson’s research, they admit that their methods are sound and most are willing to accept their conclusions until more data becomes available.
To read more about how diamonds are illuminating the mysteries of the past, go here.