Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 112, Supplement 1, pp 71–84 | Cite as

Kimberlite-related metasomatism recorded in MARID and PIC mantle xenoliths

  • Angus FitzpayneEmail author
  • Andrea Giuliani
  • David Phillips
  • Janet Hergt
  • Jon D. Woodhead
  • James Farquhar
  • Marco L. Fiorentini
  • Russell N. Drysdale
  • Nanping Wu
Original Paper


MARID (Mica-Amphibole-Rutile-Ilmenite-Diopside) and PIC (Phlogopite-Ilmenite-Clinopyroxene) xenoliths are thought to be formed by intense “primary” mantle metasomatism. These rocks also display secondary features, such as cross-cutting veins and geochemical zonation of matrix minerals, which probably reflect later metasomatic events. To investigate the nature and origin(s) of these secondary features, 28 MARID and PIC xenoliths from southern African kimberlites and orangeites have been studied. MARID-hosted veins contain both carbonate and Ti-rich phases (e.g., titanite, phlogopite), suggesting that they formed by the infiltration of a carbonated silicate melt. Elevated TiO2 contents in MARID matrix mineral rims are spatially associated with carbonate-dominated veins, suggesting a genetic relationship between vein formation and geochemical zonation. Spongy rims around primary MARID and PIC clinopyroxene are depleted in Na2O and Al2O3 relative to their cores, possibly reflecting mineral dissolution in the xenoliths during ascent and emplacement of the entraining kimberlite. The preservation of compositional differences between primary and secondary phases in MARID and PIC xenoliths indicates that metasomatism occurred shortly before, or broadly coeval with, kimberlite/orangeite magmatism; otherwise, at typical mantle temperatures, such features would have quickly re-equilibrated. Increased Na2O in some mineral rims (e.g., K-richterite) may therefore reflect equilibration with a more Na-enriched primitive kimberlite melt composition than is commonly suggested. Vein-hosted clinopyroxene 87Sr/86Sri (0.70539 ± 0.00079) in one MARID sample is intermediate between primary clinopyroxene in the sample (0.70814 ± 0.00002) and the host Bultfontein kimberlite (0.70432 ± 0.00005), suggesting that vein minerals are derived from interactions between primary MARID phases and kimberlite-related melts/fluids. Sulfur isotope compositions of barite (δ34SVCDT = +4.69 ‰) and sulfides (δ34SVCDT = −0.69 ‰) in carbonate veins reflect equilibration at temperatures of 850–900 °C, consistent with sulfur-rich melt/fluid infiltration in the lithospheric mantle. In contrast, vein carbonate C-O isotope systematics (δ13CVPDB = −9.18 ‰; δ18OVSMOW = +17.22 ‰) are not typical of kimberlites or other mantle carbonates (δ13CVPDB = −3 to −8 ‰; δ18OVSMOW = 6 to 9 ‰), and may represent post-emplacement hydrothermal interactions of the cooling kimberlite with crustal fluids. These constraints suggest protracted metasomatism of MARID rocks shortly before and during entrainment by the host kimberlite.


MARID Mantle metasomatism Kimberlite Stable isotopes 



We thank Graham Hutchinson for his assistance during SEM and EPMA sessions. We are also grateful to Alan Greig for his support with LA-ICP-MS analyses. We extend our thanks to the De Beers Group, the University of Cape Town ‘John J. Gurney Upper Mantle Research Collection’, and Simon Shee for providing access to the studied samples, and to Jock Robey for his assistance during fieldwork in the Kimberley region. This manuscript benefited from constructive reviews from Sonja Aulbach and Yannick Bussweiler, and the efficient editorial handling of Graham Pearson. AG acknowledges funding from the Australian Research Council (Discovery Early Career Research Award no. DE-150100009). This is publication 31 from the Kimberlites and Diamonds Research Group at the University of Melbourne (, also listed as contribution 1161 from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems ( and 1225 in the GEMOC Key Centre (

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.KiDs (Kimberlites and Diamonds), School of Earth SciencesThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems (CCFS) and Australian Research Council National Key Centre for Geochemical Evolution and Metallogeny of Continents (GEMOC), Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Faculty of Science and EngineeringMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Geology and Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Centre (ESSIC)University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  4. 4.Centre for Exploration Targeting, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems (CCFS), School of Earth SciencesThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  5. 5.School of GeographyThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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