Plate tectonics is the great unifying theory of geology, which makes it all the more amazing that it has only been accepted for about 50 years. If you think we’ve got it all figured out by now, a paper published this week in Science may surprise you. And you’d be wrong if you were expecting to read about some dusty rock cores. The new information comes from a much shinier source: diamonds.
Contrary to popular culture, diamonds are not formed from the metamorphosis of coal under tremendous heat and pressure. It makes for nice poetry, but it’s not true. The real story is actually a bit more interesting than that.
Plate tectonics different on early Earth?