, Volume 66, Issue 3, pp 251-261

Some petrological aspects of the Prairie Creek diamond-bearing kimberlite diatreme, Arkansas

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Abstract

Based on modal and chemical composition, the rocks of the Prairie Creek diatreme situated 4 km SSE of Murfreesboro, Pike County, Arkansas, are classified as micaceous kimberlite. The K-Ar isotopic analysis of phlogopite from this diatreme yielded an age of 106 ± 3 m.y. (Albian) which is in agreement with stratigraphic relations. Electron beam probe data on minerals from kimberlite breccia, one of the three textural types, are presented. The breccia is considered as the potential source of the diamonds that have been mined at the diatreme. It contains phenocrysts of olivine (Fo90–92) and serpentine pseudomorphs after olivine embedded in a groundmass of serpentine, minor calcite, chrome-diopside, phlogopite (Mg/Mg+Fe = 84.15%), perovskite, spinels, and pentlandite. Xenoliths of shales, sandstones, and mantle-derived ultramafic material are also present. Spinels are rich in Cr, Ti, and Fe and generally low in Al. Zoned spinels show enrichments in Ti and Fe towards their rims. A positive correlation between 100(Fe3++Ti)/(Cr+Al+Fe3++Ti) and 100 Mg/(Mg+Fe2+) ratios exists in these spinels and probably reflects an oxygen fugacity increase during magma crystallization. Occluded gases in diamonds and kimberlites corroborate the hypothesis that the parent magma of the Prairie Creek kimberlite was derived by partial melting of upper-mantle garnet lherzolite under volatile-rich conditions, primarily enriched in H2O and CO2.