Trace elements in sulfide inclusions from Yakutian diamonds

G. P. Bulanova, W. L. Griffin*, C. G. Ryan, O. Ye Shestakova, S. J. Barnes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


Sulfide inclusions in diamonds may provide the only pristine samples of mantle sulfides. and they carry important information on the distribution and abundances of chalcophile elements in the deep lithosphere. Trace-element abundances were measured by proton microprobe in >50 sulfide inclusions (SDI) from Yakutian diamonds: about half of these were measured in situ in polished plates of diamonds, providing information on the spatial distribution of compositional variations. Many of the diamonds were identified as peridotitic or eclogitic from the nature of coexisting silicate or oxide inclusions. Known peridotitic diamonds contain SDIs with Ni contents of 22-367%. consistent with equilibration between olivine, monosulfide solid solution (MSS) and sulfide melt, whereas SDIs in eclogitic diamonds contain 0-12% Ni. A group of diamonds without silicate or oxide inclusions has SDIs with 11-18% Ni, and may be derived from pyroxenitic paragneses. Eclogitic SDIs have lower Ni, Cu and Te than peridotitic SDIs; the ranges of the two parageneses overlap for Se, As and Mo. The Mo and Se contents range up to 700 and 300 ppm, respectively; the highest levels are found in peridotitic diamonds. Among the in-situ SDIs, significant Zn and Pb levels are found in those connected by cracks to diamond surfaces, and these elements reflect interaction with kimberlitic melt. Significant levels of Ru (30-1300 ppm) and Rh (10-170 ppm) are found in many peridotitic SDIs; SDIs in one diamond with wustite and divine inclusions and complex internal structures have high levels of other platinum-group elements (PGEs) as well, and high chondrite-normalized Ir/Pd. Comparison with experimental data on element partitioning between crystals of monosulfide solid solution (MSS) and sulfide melts suggests that most of the inclusions in both parageneses were trapped as MSS, while some high-Cu SDIs with high Pd±Rh may represent fractionated sulfide melts. Spatial variations of SDI composition within single diamonds are consistent with growth histories shown by cathodoluminescence images, in which several stages of growth and resorption have occurred within magmatic environments that evolved during diamond formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-125
Number of pages15
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996


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