Section 30
Chapter 29,800

A study of eclogitic diamonds and their inclusions from the Finsch kimberlite pipe, South Africa

Appleyard, C.M.; Viljoen, K.S.; Dobbe Rene

Lithos 77(1-4): 317-332


ISSN/ISBN: 0024-4937
DOI: 10.1016/j.lithos.2004.04.023
Accession: 029799282

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Previous studies of diamonds from Finsch have shown that eclogitic inclusions are rare at Finsch and that the eclogitic garnet and clinopyroxenes are iron and manganese-rich. In order to expand the current database of information, 93 eclogitic diamonds were selected for this study. Eight diamonds were polished into plates for cathodoluminescence studies and infrared examination of diamond growth and 31 diamonds were cracked to retrieve inclusions. The eclogitic garnets analysed in this study are enriched in Fe and are relatively depleted in Ca and Mg relative to worldwide data. FeO contents for garnet range from 15 to 27 wt.% and MnO contents reach a maximum value of 1.6 wt.%. The eclogitic clinopyroxenes have relatively high FeO contents, up to 14.8 wt.% and K (sub 2) O contents are low (<0.4 wt.%). Three non-touching garnet-clinopyroxene mineral pairs produce equilibration temperatures of 1138-1179 degrees C at an assumed pressure of 50 kb. No Type II diamonds were found during this study, all diamonds are of Type IaAB. Total nitrogen contents of Type IaAB diamonds range from 11 to 1520 ppm, with variable aggregation states (up to 84% nitrogen aggregated as B-defects). Distinct infrared characteristics suggest that the Finsch kimberlite sampled either more than one mantle source region of similar age but differing temperature, or two different populations of diamonds with different ages. The diamonds provide evidence of changing mantle conditions during crystallisation. Continuous diamond growth is illustrated by the presence of regular octahedral growth zones, although in some diamonds cubic growth is noted. One diamond shows evidence of platelet degradation, suggesting exposure to high temperatures and/or shearing stresses.

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