Oxidation of the Kaapvaal lithospheric mantle driven by metasomatism

  • Steven CreightonEmail author
  • Thomas Stachel
  • Sergei Matveev
  • Heidi Höfer
  • Catherine McCammon
  • Robert W. Luth
Original Paper


The oxidation state, reflected in the oxygen fugacity (fO2), of the subcratonic lithospheric mantle is laterally and vertically heterogeneous. In the garnet stability field, the Kaapvaal lithospheric mantle becomes progressively more reducing with increasing depth from Δlog fO2 FMQ-2 at 110 km to FMQ-4 at 210 km. Oxidation accompanying metasomatism has obscured this crystal-chemical controlled depth-fO2 trend in the mantle beneath Kimberley, South Africa. Chondrite normalized REE patterns for garnets, preserve evidence of a range in metasomatic enrichment from mild metasomatism in harzburgites to extensive metasomatism by LREE-enriched fluids and melts with fairly unfractionated LREE/HREE ratios in phlogopite-bearing lherzolites. The metasomatized xenoliths record redox conditions extending up to Δlog fO2 = FMQ, sufficiently oxidized that magnesite would be the stable host of carbon in the most metasomatized samples. The most oxidized lherzolites, those in or near the carbonate stability field, have the greatest modal abundance of phlogopite and clinopyroxene. Clinopyroxene is modally less abundant or absent in the most reduced peridotite samples. The infiltration of metasomatic fluids/melts into diamondiferous lithospheric mantle beneath the Kaapvaal craton converted reduced, anhydrous harzburgite into variably oxidized phlogopite-bearing lherzolite. Locally, portions of the lithospheric mantle were metasomatized and oxidized to an extent that conversion of diamond into carbonate should have occurred.


Mantle oxidation state Mantle metasomatism MARID Kaapvaal craton Kimberley kimberlite 



The authors wish to thank Antonio Simonetti and GuangCheng Chen for their assistance with LA-ICPMS analyses. Financial support for this project was provided by NSERC in the way of a Postgraduate Doctoral Scholarship to S·C and a Discovery grant to T.S. Dr. Jock Robey and De Beers Consolidated Mines are gratefully acknowledged for their support in collecting samples and shipping xenoliths to Canada. Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. provided support for analytical costs.

Supplementary material

410_2008_348_MOESM1_ESM.xls (32 kb)
Major element composition of olivine, orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene from our xenolith suite (in wt%) (XLS 32 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Creighton
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas Stachel
    • 1
  • Sergei Matveev
    • 1
  • Heidi Höfer
    • 2
  • Catherine McCammon
    • 3
  • Robert W. Luth
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Institut für GeowissenschaftenJohann Wolfgang Goethe-UniversitätFrankfurt am MainGermany
  3. 3.Bayrisches GeoinstitutUniversität BayreuthBayreuthGermany

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