Kankan diamonds (Guinea) III

δ13C and nitrogen characteristics of deep diamonds

T. Stachel*, J. Harris, S. Aulbach, P. Deines

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Diamonds from the Kankan area in Guinea formed over a large depth profile beginning within the cratonic mantle lithosphere and extending through the asthenosphere and transition zone into the lower mantle. The carbon isotopic composition, the concentration of nitrogen impurities and the nitrogen aggregation level of diamonds representing this entire depth range have been determined. Peridotitic and eclogitic diamonds of lithospheric origin from Kankan have carbon isotopic compositions (δ13C: peridotitic -5.4 to -2.2‰0; eclogitic -19.7 to -0.7‰0) and nitrogen characteristics (N: peridotitic 17-648 atomic ppm; eclogitic 0-1,313 atomic ppm; aggregation from IaA to IaB) which are generally typical for diamonds of these two suites worldwide. Geothermobarometry of peridotitic and eclogitic inclusion parageneses (worldwide sources) indicates that both suites formed under very similar conditions within the cratonic lithosphere, which is not consistent with a derivation of diamonds with light carbon isotopic composition from subducted organic matter within subducting oceanic slabs. Diamonds containing majorite garnet inclusions fall to the isotopically heavy side (δ13C: -3.1‰0 to +0.9‰0) of the worldwide diamond population. Nitrogen contents are low (0-126 atomic ppm) and one of the two nitrogen-bearing diamonds shows such a low level of nitrogen aggregation (30% B-centre) that it cannot have been exposed to ambient temperatures of the transition zone (≥1,400 °C) for more than 0.2 Ma. This suggests rapid upward transport and formation of some Kankan diamonds pene-contemporaneous to Cretaceous kimberlite activity. Similar to these diamonds from the asthenosphere and the transition zone, lower mantle diamonds show a small shift towards isotopic heavy compositions (-6.6 to -0.5‰0, mode at -3.5‰0). As already observed for other mines, the nitrogen contents of lower mantle diamonds were below detection (using FTIRS). The mutual shift of sublithospheric diamonds towards isotopic heavier compositions suggests a common carbon source, which may have inherited an isotopic heavy composition from a component consisting of subducted carbonates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-475
Number of pages11
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Volume142
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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