X-ray topographic study of a diamond from Udachnaya: Implications for the genetic nature of inclusions

Giovanna Agrosì*, Fabrizio Nestola, Gioacchino Tempesta, Marco Bruno, Eugenio Scandale, Jeff Harris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, several studies have focused on the growth conditions of the diamonds through the analysis of the mineral inclusions trapped in them. In these studies, it is crucial to distinguish between protogenetic, syngenetic and epigenetic inclusions. X-ray topography (XRDT) can be a helpful tool to verify, in a non-destructive way, the genetic nature of inclusions in diamond. With this aim, a diamond from the Udachnaya kimberlite, Siberia, was investigated. The diamond, previously studied by Nestola et al. (2011), has anomalous birefringence and the two largest olivines have typical "diamond-imposed" shapes. The study of the topographic images shows that the diamond exhibits significant deformation fields related to post growth plastic deformation. The absence of dislocations starting from the olivine inclusions, and the dark contrasts around them represent the main results obtained by XRDT, contributing to the elucidation of the relationships between the diamond and the olivines at the micron-meter scale. The dark halo surrounding the inclusions was likely caused by the effect of different thermo-elastic properties between the diamond and the inclusions. The absence of dislocations indicates that the diamond-imposed morphology did not produce the volume distortion commonly associated with the entrapment of the full-grown inclusions and, thus, only based on such evidence, a syngenetic origin could be proposed. In addition, stepped figures optically observed at the interface between diamond and one of the olivines suggest processes of selective partial dissolution that would contribute to a change in the final morphology of inclusions. These results show that a diamond morphology may be imposed to a full-grown (protogenetic) olivine during their encapsulation, suggesting that the bulk of the inclusion is protogenetic, whereas its more external regions, close to the diamond-inclusion interface, could be syngenetic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Diamond
  • Olivine inclusions
  • Protogenesis
  • Structural defects
  • Syngenesis
  • X-ray diffraction topography


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