Mineral inclusions in diamonds from the Sputnik kimberlite pipe, Yakutia

N. V. Sobolev*, F. V. Kaminsky, W. L. Griffin, E. S. Yefimova, T. T. Win, C. G. Ryan, A. I. Botkunov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Citations (Scopus)


The Sputnik kimberlite pipe is a small "satellite" of the larger Mir pipe in central Yakutia (Sakha), Russia. Study of 38 large diamonds (0.7-4.9 carats) showed that nine contain inclusions of the eclogitic paragenesis, while the remainder contain inclusions of the peridotitic paragenesis, or of uncertain paragenesis. The peridotitic inclusion suite comprises olivine, enstatite, Cr-diopside, chromite, Cr-pyrope garnet (both lherzolitic and harzburgitic), ilmenite, Ni-rich sulfide and a Ti-Cr-Fe-Mg-Sr-K phase of the lindsleyite - mathiasite (LIMA) series. The eclogitic inclusion suite comprises omphacite, garnet, Ni-poor sulfide, phlogopite and rutile. Peridotitic ilmenite inclusions have high Mg, Cr and Ni contents and high Nb/Zr ratios; they may be related to metasomatic ilmenites known from peridotite xenoliths in kimberlite. Eclogitic phlogopite is intergrown with omphacite, coexists with garnet, and has an unusually high TiO2 content. Comparison with inclusions in diamonds from Mir shows general similarities, but differences in details of trace-element patterns. Large compositional variations among inclusions of one phase (olivine, garnet, chromite) within single diamonds indicate that the chemical environment of diamond crystallisation changed rapidly relative to diamond growth rates in many cases. P-T conditions of formation were calculated from multiphase inclusions and from trace element geothermobarometry of single inclusions. The geotherm at the time of diamond formation was near a 35 mW/m2 conductive model; that is indistinguishable from the Paleozoic geotherm derived by studies of xenoliths and concentrate minerals from Mir. A range of Ni temperatures between garnet inclusions in single diamonds from both Mir and Sputnik suggests that many of the diamonds grew during thermal events affecting a relatively narrow depth range of the lithosphere, within the diamond stability field. The minor differences between inclusions in Mir and Sputnik may reflect lateral heterogeneity in the upper mantle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-157
Number of pages23
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1997


  • Chromite
  • Diamond
  • Inclusions
  • Kimberlite
  • Pyrope
  • Siberia


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