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New Diamond Hope for Seemandhra in Nallamala Forests?

New research found diamond mines in in the Nallamala forest belt in Seemandhra region of Andhra Pradesh across the Godavari Graben, one of the largest sedimentary rock basins in India.

Geologists of CSIR National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), Hyderabad said they found new, cost-effective and quick search tool, using earthquake data, for identifying regions where diamonds could be mined.

Based on data collected from the recent earthquakes recorded in seismological stations located in Hyderabad, Kadapa, Kothagudem and Dharwar, Geoologists led by Subrata Das Sharma and Durbha Sai Ramesh published their research findings in the latest issue of the journal “Lithosphere”.

Diamonds are formed inside the Earth’s crest at a depth of more than 150 km, and forge through the surface by rocks known as kimberlites and lamproites.

Unlike the earlier studies, Sharma and ramesh suggest that the geothermal conditions in the region are conducive for diamond stability. The diamond mining will be possible over two lakh square kilometres, according to the study.

“There are several conditions required for the formation of diamonds, foremost among which are high pressure, high temperature and appropriate partial pressure of oxygen within the Earth’s mantle. Our findings suggest that these conditions are fulfilled in south-eastern India,” Das Sharma said.

However, he was quick to add:“we are only hinting at the possibility of a diamond field in the Nallamala forest region and the Godavari graben. New exploration strategies are essential. These are only potential areas.”

The Nallamala forest region is the largest untouched forest reserve in South India and is known to have rocks formed by large scale volcanic activity millions of years ago.

The method used by Sharma and Ramesh could lead to unearth diamonds quickly and in the most cost-effective manner. Kimberlites and lamproites are usually very difficult to locate diamonds but the techniques used by the NGRI geoscientists could replace earlier methods in diamond mining.

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