The authors of a new paper believe that raw materials for diamonds and certain unusual oceanic islands come from the same places. From right to left: 1) ocean crust subducts into earth’s mantle deep under a continent; 2) the carbon-rich crust interacts with, and alters, the continental root; 3) part of the altered root drops off and sinks to the mantle/core boundary; 4) the material is taken up in a hot plume that rises back to the surface; 5) the plume erupts from under the seabed to form islands. The scientists estimate the process might take 2.7 billion years. Credit: Y. Weiss et al., Nature 2016

Some islands started in diamond-GeologyPage

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