The discovery of kimberlites in Antarctica extends the vast Gondwanan Cretaceous province

Gregory M. Yaxley*, Vadim S. Kamenetsky, Geoffrey T. Nichols, Roland Maas, Elena Belousova, Anja Rosenthal, Marc Norman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Kimberlites are a volumetrically minor component of the Earth's volcanic record, but are very important as the major commercial source of diamonds and as the deepest samples of the Earth's mantle. They were predominantly emplaced from ≈2,100 Ma to ≈10 ka ago, into ancient, stable regions of continental crust (cratons), but are also known from continental rifts and mobile belts. Kimberlites have been reported from almost all major cratons on all continents except for Antarctica. Here we report the first bona fide Antarctic kimberlite occurrence, from the northern Prince Charles Mountains, emplaced during the reactivation of the Lambert Graben associated with rifting of India from Australia-Antarctica. The samples are texturally, mineralogically and geochemically typical of Group I kimberlites from more classical localities. Their ≈120 Ma ages overlap with those of many kimberlites from other world-wide localities, extending a vast Cretaceous, Gondwanan kimberlite province, for the first time, into Antarctica.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2921
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2013


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