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Rain falls within the Ouachita Mountain Valley where it slowly soaks through the soil, and after thousands of years, reaches deep layers of the earth. At around 7,000 ft below the surface, the water heats and compresses before gravity causes it to rush to the surface and escape through 47 springs on the west side of Hot Springs Mountain.
About 300 to 250 million years ago, the continent we now call South America collided with the southern portion of present day North America. This collision formed the Ouachita Mountains from sediments that were deposited in a deep ocean environment. The Ouachitas began to erode and during the Cretaceous Period (144 to 66 million years ago), the southern area of this eroded mountain range was covered by seas and the area of the Park was near-shore, but under shallow seawater. About 100 million years ago, an instability in the Earth’s mantle caused the movement of gas and rock to the surface. This volcanic vent, known as the “Prairie Creek” diatreme by geologists, rose rapidly through the upper mantle and crust, carrying with it fragments of mantle and crustal rocks and minerals, until it came near enough to the surface to explode due to the release of gases. When it exploded, it created an 83-acre funnel-shaped crater with sides sloping inward at about 45 degrees. Much of the airborne material formed by the initial explosion fell back into the vent. The speed of rise of the mass allowed the diamonds to be preserved in this material.
Geologists calculate that only about 160 feet of the original vent has been eroded away, concentrating the heavy minerals, including diamond, in the present day soil. At the Crater, diamonds are often found loose in the soil, having been released during the rapid weathering of this unstable mantle rock.
Originally posted by Axthiel
reply to post by getreadyalready
My wife and I live maybe 5 minutes from Decatur Ar and this is the first we've ever heard of that cave, or the high speed train for that matter. Learn something new everyday lol. I feel kind of dumb though because I've lived around this area for most of my life. Guess I just never payed attention.