Trace elements in garnets and chromites: Diamond formation in the Siberian lithosphere

W. L. Griffin*, N. V. Sobolev, C. G. Ryan, N. P. Pokhilenko, T. T. Win, E. S. Yefimova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


Proton-microprobe analyses of trace elements in garnet and chromite inclusions in diamonds (DI) from the Mir, Udachnaya, Aikhal and Sytykanskaya kimberlites in Yakutia, CIS, provide new insights into the processes that form diamond. Equivalent data on garnet and chromite concentrates from these pipes yield information on the thermal state and chemical stratification of the Siberian lithosphere. Peridotite-suite diamonds from Yakutia have formed over a temperature interval of ca. 600°C, as measured by Ni and Zn thermometry on garnet and chromite inclusions in diamonds. Individual diamonds contain inclusions recording temperature intervals of >400°C; ranges of >100°C are common. Diamond formation followed a severe depletion event(s), and a separate enrichment in Sr. Comparison of temperatures on DI garnet and spinel with temperatures derived from diamondiferous harzburgites, exposed inclusions in boart and concentrate minerals suggests that the diamond-containing part of the lithosphere has cooled significantly since the Siberian diamonds crystallized. The peridotite-suite diamonds probably formed mainly in response to one or more relatively short-lived thermal events, related to magmatic intrusion. The northern part of the Daldyn-Alakit district may have had a typical cratonic geotherm at the time of diamond formation, and during kimberlite intrusion. The southern part of the district, and the Malo-Botuobiya kimberlite field, probably had a relatively low geotherm (ca. 35 mW/m2). The vertical distribution of garnet and chromite types indicates that the mantle above 120 km depth is dominated by lherzolites, whereas the deeper parts of the lithosphere are a mixture of lherzolites and more depleted harzburgites and dunites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-256
Number of pages22
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


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