Diamonds represent pressure bombs from the deep Earth. Mineral inclusions reflect the composition of crustal materials as well as material of deep mantle origin. As such they sample a regime unavailable to us otherwise. Samples of the deep mantle allow reconstruction of Earth's original composition and in comparison to surface rocks indicates processes involved in the evolving Earth. The noble gas composition of the mantle determined in this way has indicated a solar component still extant on Earth.
A capable student will undertake innovative noble gas analyses of well-characterised diamond samples, including gem-stones, donated by De Beers. This information will be used to reconcile the radically different views on the structure of the Earth's mantle and to constrain the temporal/spatial evolution of the Earth's mantle and atmosphere.