First crystal-structure determination of olivine in diamond

Composition and implications for provenance in the Earth's mantle

Fabrizio Nestola*, Paolo Nimis, Luca Ziberna, Micaela Longo, Andrea Marzoli, Jeff W. Harris, Murli H. Manghnani, Yana Fedortchouk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)


We report for the first time a complete X-ray diffraction in-situ crystal-structure refinement of a single crystal of olivine still trapped in a diamond (Udachnaya kimberlite, Siberia). A two-step experimental procedure, consisting of accurate crystal centering using a four-circle diffractometer equipped with a point detector and subsequent collection of complete intensity data using a second diffractometer equipped with a CCD detector, allowed us to overcome previously reported experimental problems and to refine the crystal structure without extracting the inclusion from the diamond host. The data allowed us to obtain the cation distribution over the two crystallographic M2 and M1 sites, which provided composition of olivine inclusion as Fo92.7(4). A novel experimental calibration of the pressure-volume equation of state for such composition was obtained using new in situ high-pressure X-ray data on a Fo92 olivine single-crystal and new established compositional effects on olivine unit-cell volume. Such equation of state allowed us to determine the internal pressure at the olivine inclusion, Pi=0.40(1)GPa. The value for the internal pressure compares well with but has lower uncertainty than estimates obtained using micro-Raman spectrometry for similar olivine inclusions in diamonds from the same kimberlite. Taking into account elastic relaxation of the diamond-olivine pair to ambient P-T, we determined formation pressures of 3.5GPa to 4.9GPa, depending on the assumed temperature (800°C to 1300°C). These values suggest formation near the graphite-diamond boundary and are comparable to estimates from conventional and Raman thermobarometry for other peridotitic inclusions in Siberian diamonds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-255
Number of pages7
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Diamond
  • Diffraction
  • Inclusion
  • Olivine
  • Pressure

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