Transmission X-ray diffraction as a new tool for diamond fluid inclusion studies

E. M. Smith*, M. G. Kopylova, L. Dubrovinsky, O. Navon, J. Ryder, E. L. Tomlinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Transmission X-ray diffraction is demonstrated as a new tool for examining daughter minerals within sub-micrometre-size fluid inclusions in fibrous diamond. In transmission geometry, the X-ray beam passes through the sample, interacting with a volume of material. Fibrous diamonds from Mbuji-Mayi, Democratic Republic of Congo; the Wawa area, Ontario, Canada; and the Panda kimberlite, Ekati Mine, Northwest Territories and the Jericho kimberlite, Nunavut, Canada were analysed using X-rays from a high-brilliance lab source and a synchrotron source. Daughter minerals present include the mica-group mineral celadonite, sylvite, halite, dolomite and other carbonates. This represents the first positive identification of halide minerals in fibrous diamond. Mineral inclusions such as forsteritic olivine and pyrope garnet were also found. Unexpectedly, daughter minerals were identified in only ten of the 38 diamonds analysed, despite their concentrations being greater than experimentally proven detection limits. The presence of significant amounts of amorphous or dissolved material appears unlikely, but cannot be ruled out. Alternatively, the results may indicate a wide variety of related daughter minerals, such that most phases fall below the detection limits. Transmission X-ray diffraction should be applied cautiously to the study of fibrous diamond, as it provides an incomplete account of the fluid-inclusion mineralogy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2657-2675
Number of pages19
JournalMineralogical Magazine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Daughter mineral
  • Fibrous diamond
  • Fluid inclusion
  • Synchrotron
  • X-ray diffraction


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