Trace element analyses of fluid-bearing diamonds from Jwaneng, Botswana

Marcus Schrauder, Christian Koeberl*, Oded Navon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Citations (Scopus)


Fibrous diamonds from Botswana contain abundant micro-inclusions, which represent syngenetic mantle fluids under high pressure. The major element composition of the fluids within individual diamonds was found to be uniform, but a significant compositional variation exists between different diamond specimens. The composition of the fluids varies between a carbonatitic and a hydrous endmember. To constrain the composition of fluids in the mantle, the trace element contents of thirteen micro-inclusion-bearing fibrous diamonds from Botswana was studied using neutron activation analysis. The concentrations of incompatible elements (including K, Na, Br, Rb, Sr, Zr, Cs, Ba, Hf, Ta, Th, U, and the LREEs) in the fluids are higher than those of mantle-derived rocks and melt inclusions. The compatible elements (e.g., Cr, Co, Ni) have abundances that are similar to those of the primitive mantle. The concentrations of most trace elements decrease by a factor of two from the carbonate-rich fluids to the hydrous fluids. Several models may explain the observed elemental variations. Minerals in equilibrium with the fluid were most likely enriched in incompatible elements, which does not agree with derivation of the fluids by partial melting of common peridotites or eclogites. Fractional crystallization of a kimberlite-like magma at depth may yield carbonatitic fluids with low mg numbers (atomic ratio [Mg/(Mg+Fe)]) and high trace element contents. Fractionation of carbonates and additional phases (e.g., rutile, apatite, zircon) may, in general, explain the concentrations of incompatible elements in the fluids, which preferably partition into these phases. Alternatively, mixing of fluids with compositions similar to those of the two endmembers may explain the observed variation of the elemental contents. The fluids in fibrous diamonds might have equilibrated with mineral inclusions in eclogitic diamonds, while peridotitic diamonds do not show evidence of interaction with these fluids. The chemical composition of the fluids in fibrous diamonds indicates that, at p, T conditions that are characteristic for diamond formation, carbonatitic and hydrous fluids are efficient carriers of incompatible elements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4711-4724
Number of pages14
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1996
Externally publishedYes

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