Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 112, Supplement 1, pp 301–310 | Cite as

Carbon and nitrogen systematics in nitrogen-rich, ultradeep diamonds from Sao Luiz, Brazil

  • Oded NavonEmail author
  • Thomas Stachel
  • Richard A. Stern
  • Jeffrey W. Harris
Original Paper


Three diamonds from Sao Luiz, Brazil carrying nano- and micro-inclusions of molecular δ-N2 that exsolved at the base of the transition zone were studied for their C and N isotopic composition and the concentration of N utilizing SIMS. The diamonds are individually uniform in their C isotopic composition and most spot analyses yield δ13C values of −3.2 ± 0.1‰ (ON-SLZ-390) and − 4.7 ± 0.1‰ (ON-SLZ-391 and 392). Only a few analyses deviate from these tight ranges and all fall within the main mantle range of −5 ± 3‰. Most of the N isotope analyses also have typical mantle δ15N values (−6.6 ± 0.4‰, −3.6 ± 0.5‰ and − 4.1 ± 0.6‰ for ON-SLZ-390, 391 and 392, respectively) and are associated with high N concentrations of 800–1250 atomic ppm. However, some N isotopic ratios, associated with low N concentrations (<400 ppm) and narrow zones with bright luminescence are distinctly above the average, reaching positive δ15N values. These sharp fluctuations cannot be attributed to fractionation. They may reflect arrival of new small pulses of melt or fluid that evolved under different conditions. Alternatively, they may result from fractionation between different growth directions, so that distinct δ15N values and N concentrations may form during diamond growth from a single melt/fluid. Other more continuous variations, in the core of ON-SLZ-390 or the rim of ON-SLZ-392 may be the result of Rayleigh fractionation or mixing.


Transition zone Lower mantle Carbon isotopes Nitrogen isotopes Solid molecular nitrogen δ-N2 



We are grateful to reviewer Sami Mikhail for his useful questions that led to important modification of the original text. We also thank the second, anonymous reviewer and the guest editor, Roberta Rudnick, for their contributions and DeBeers Consolidated mines for donating the samples. This publication stems from Project P1638 of the Canadian Center for Isotopic Microanalysis. ON acknowledges funding by the German–Israeli Foundation for Science and Development (GIF), grant # I-1239-301.8/2014, and TS acknowledges funding of the analytical costs through a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grant.

Supplementary material

710_2018_576_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (98 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 98 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Fredy & Nadine Herrmann Institute of Earth SciencesThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Canadian Centre for Isotopic Microanalysis, Department of Earth and Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.School of Geographical and Earth SciencesUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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