Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 99, Issue 1–2, pp 29–42

On the origin of silicate-bearing diamondites

Original Paper


Garnets and clinopyroxenes, intergrown with diamonds in 37 diamondites (“bort”, “polycrystalline diamond aggregates”, “polycrystalline diamond”, “framesite”), presumably from southern Africa, were analyzed for trace element contents by LA-ICP-MS. The intimate diamond-silicate intergrowths suggest that both precipitated from the same fluids during the same crystallization events. In this study we distinguish 5 chemical garnet groups: “peridotitic” (P), intermediate (I) and 3 “eclogitic” groups (E1, E2 and E3). Chondrite-normalized trace element patterns for the garnet groups roughly correlate with major element abundances. Most of P garnets show complex, mildly sinusoidal REEN patterns with relatively flat HREEN-MREEN, a small hump at Sm-Nd and depleted LREEN, and have relatively high contents of Nb, Ta, U, and Th. The REEN abundance patterns of E garnets differ by showing a continuous increase from LREE to HREE and depletion in LREE and highly incompatible elements relative to the P garnets. Of all garnet groups, E3 garnets are the poorest in highly incompatible trace elements and in Mg. Model equilibrium fluids for P garnets suggest crystallization from magnesian carbonate-bearing fluids/melts, which were very rich in incompatible trace elements — similar to kimberlites. Hypothetical equilibrium melts for E1 and E2 garnets are also magnesian and poorer in LREE and highly incompatible elements relative to typical kimberlitic or carbonatitic melts. Fluids that crystallized the P and most of the E garnets have similar mg numbers indicating a peridotitic source for both. The differences in Cr and highly incompatible element contents can be the result of differences in fluid formation and/or evolution rather than different source rock. The positive correlation of Cr2O3 and mg with the abundances of highly incompatible elements in garnets indicate fluid-rock fractionation processes rather than igneous fractional crystallization processes being responsible for the evolution of the diamondite-forming fluids.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Geochemical ResearchHungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Department of Lithospheric ResearchUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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