Variations in trapping temperatures and trace elements in peridotite-suite inclusions from African diamonds

evidence for two inclusion suites, and implications for lithosphere stratigraphy

W. L. Griffin*, J. J. Gurney, C. G. Ryan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The proton microprobe has been used to measure the trace element contents of Cr-pyrope, olivine and orthopyroxene inclusion (DI) in>60 diamonds from southern Africa, and in concentrate garnets from the host kimberlites. Olivine inclusions show a negative correlation of Ca with Fo content, but olivines coexisting with very subcalcic garnets are anomously depleted in Ca relative to Fo. The maximum and median values of Ti, Zn, Ga, Zr and Y in DI garnets decrease as Ca decreases relative to Cr, consistent with increasing depletion by removal of silicate melts. However, the most subcalcic garnets are anomously enriched in Sr (and LREE). The contrasting depletion in Zr, Y, Ti etc. and enrichment in Sr is not consistent with a single-stage depletion event. The extreme Ca depletion of the most subcalcic garnets and their coexisting olivines, and the Sr enrichment, are interpreted as the result of metasomatism by a carbonatitic fluid following depletion. Trapping temperatures of garnet DI, estimated by nickel thermometry range from 950 to > 1500°C. Most DI with T>1200°C are lherzolitic, rather than subcalcic. In most pipes studied, the trapping T of DI garnets is higher than the T range of equivalent garnets from concentrates. The high Ts are interpreted as reflecting the formation of diamonds during short-lived thermal pulses, followed by cooling toward a conductive geotherm. The T distribution of calcic and subcalcic garnets in concentrates from kimberlites suggests that lherzolite and harzburgite are intimately intermixed over the depth range 150-180 km beneath the Kalahari craton. The abundance of calcic garnets with T>1200°C suggests the presence of significant amounts of lherzolite at greater depths. This deeper lherzolite may be associated with eclogite, and may be the source region for some high-T lherzolitic DI garnets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Volume110
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1992
Externally publishedYes

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