Rare and unusual mineral inclusions in diamonds from Mwadui, Tanzania

Thomas Stachel*, Jeff W. Harris, Gerhard P. Brey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Syngenetic diamond inclusions from the Mwadui kimberlite reveal that an unusually fertile section of lithospheric mantle beneath the Central African Craton was sampled. This is shown by a very high ratio of lherzolitic to harzburgitic garnet inclusions (1:2) and low Mg/Fe-ratios in olivine and orthopyroxene. Geothermometry applied to the peridotitic inclusions indicates disequilibrium between non-touching inclusion pairs to be common. Disequilibrium between garnet-olivine and garnet-orthopyroxene pairs suggests successive iron enrichment during diamond formation, e.g. leading to the presence of harzburgitic garnet and lherzolitic olivine in the same diamond. Apart from the dominant peridotitic inclusion suite (88%), rare eclogitic inclusions occur (2%) and a number of uncertain paragenesis. Two diamonds, one with eclogitic garnets with moderate pyroxene solid solution and the other with a single ferro-periclase inclusion, suggest the contribution of a small sub-lithospheric component. The finding of the association Fe-FeO-Fe3O4 in one single diamond indicates diamond formation over a large range of fO2 conditions, possibly along redox fronts. Steep compositional gradients may also be reflected by the joint occurrence of harzburgitic garnet and a SiO2-phase in the same diamond. Alternatively the formation of the SiO2-phase may be due to extreme carbonation of the peridotitic source. Further unusual findings include the exsolution of a silicate phase from magnetite inclusions, (i.e. primary solution of γ-olivine) and an ilmenite inclusion with an eskolaite (Cr2O3) component of 14.5 mol%, the latter together with harzburgitic paragenesis silicate inclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-47
Number of pages14
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Volume132
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

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