Earth Expansion – Spontaneous or Driven?

One of the more peculiar facts surrounding diamond is its apparent crystalline stability at the Earth’s surface, and behind the De Beers’ famous marketing jingle Diamonds are Forever.

This model is based on the standard diamond stability plot.

Why don’t diamonds spontaneously break down into graphite? Why are diamonds used in drilling machines to bore into solid rock at very high temperatures and pressures associated with drilling? I recall a laboratory experiment described by John Hawthorne (De Beers) at the Anglo American Research Labs during 1980/81 when a diamond crystal was placed in a concrete mixer with a grinding media, and left to operate over night. Next morning no diamond was found in the comminuted slurry. Almost magic. And no graphite.

Here’s a photo of a burnt out diamond coring bit used in the GWD01 drill hole associated with a gravity anomaly. Whoops? And the diamonds were still present in the bit matrix.

Pardoo 013.JPG

Diamonds are also the source of the diamond dust used to cut and polish gem quality diamonds; graphite is again conspicuously absent in this material. If grinding diamonds into dust doesn’t yield graphite, even under the high temperatures and pressures of a high-speed diamond drilling machine, then why is diamond so apparently physically stable at the Earth’s surface?

Which leads to the idea of an expanding earth model. Is the Earth continuously expanding or is it, like natural diamond, stable until affected by an external driver to initiate expansion? Which suggests the expansion is punctuated in a similar fashion to Gould and Eldridge’s idea of an evolutionary punctuated equilibrium for the biosphere?

Just mentioning.


About Louis Hissink

Retired diamond exploration geologist. Trained by Western Mining Corporation and polished by De Beers.
This entry was posted in Geology, Hare-brained theories. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s