Iron oxidation state in lower mantle mineral assemblagesII. Inclusions in diamonds from Kankan, Guinea

C. A. McCammon*, T. Stachel, J. W. Harris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Inclusions of ferropericlase and former (Mg,Fe)(Si,Al)O perovskite in diamonds from Kankan, Guinea believed to originate in the lower mantle were studied using Mössbauer spectroscopy to determine FeΣFe. Fe concentration in the (Mg,Fe)(Si,Al)O inclusion is consistent with empirical relations relating FeΣFe to Al concentration, supporting the inference that it crystallised in the perovskite structure at lower mantle conditions. In ferropericlase there is a nearly linear variation of trivalent cation abundance with monovalent cation abundance, suggesting a substitution of the form Na0.5M0.53O (M=Fe3+, Cr3+, Al3+). Excess positive charge is likely balanced by cation vacancies, where their abundance is observed to increase with increasing iron concentration, consistent with high-pressure experiments. The abundance of cation vacancies is related to oxygen fugacity, where ferropericlase inclusions from Kankan and São Luiz (Brazil) are inferred to have formed at conditions more oxidising than Fe-(Mg,Fe)O equilibrium, but more reducing than Re-ReO equilibrium. Fe2+Mg partition coefficients between (Mg,Fe)(Si,Al)O3 and ferropericlase were calculated for inclusions co-existing in the same diamond using Mössbauer data and empirical relations based on high-pressure experimental work. Most values are consistent with high-pressure experiments, suggesting that these inclusions equilibrated at lower mantle conditions. The measured ferropericlase Fe3+ concentrations are consistent with diamond formation in a region of redox gradients, possibly arising from the subduction of oxidised material into reduced lower mantle. Reduction of carbonate to form ferropericlase and diamond is consistent with a slight shift of Kankan δ 13C values to isotopically heavy compositions compared to the worldwide dataset, and could supply the oxygen necessary to satisfy the high Fe3+ concentration in (Mg,Fe)(Si,Al)O3 perovskite, as well as account for the high proportion of ferropericlase in the lower mantle paragenesis. The heterogeneity of lower mantle diamond sources indicates that the composition of lower mantle diamonds do not necessarily reflect those of the bulk mantle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-434
Number of pages12
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Cation partitioning
  • Ferric iron
  • Ferropericlase
  • Mössbauer spectroscopy
  • Oxygen fugacity
  • Perovskite


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