IR spectroscopy: Quantitative determination of the mineralogy and bulk composition of fluid microinclusions in diamonds

Y. Weiss*, I. Kiflawi, O. Navon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Infrared (IR) absorption was used to measure the concentration of secondary phases trapped in microinclusion-bearing diamonds. Using KBr pellets with known concentrations, we determined the IR absorptivities (Ε, AU{bullet operator}l/mol{bullet operator}cm) of calcite, dolomite, magnesite, apatite, quartz, phlogopite, olivine and garnet: Εcalcite1433cm-1=739, Εdolomite1442cm-1=921, Εmagnesite1451cm-1=563, Εapatite1049cm-1=2590 (Εapatite605cm-1=800), Εphlogopite1006cm-1=861, Εquartz1084cm-1=418(Εquartz800cm-1=102), Εgarnet967cm-1=1049, Εolivine894cm-1=418. Using the conversion factors for a diamond matrix, the concentrations of carbonates, silicates and apatite were calculated in 13 microinclusion-bearing diamonds that were previously analyzed by electron probe micro analyses (EPMA) and IR and carry carbonatitic to silicic high density fluids (HDFs). Combining the relative abundance in the microinclusions with the composition of each mineral, we calculated the concentration of SiO2, Al2O3, P2O5 and MgO+CaO+FeO+BaO+Na2O of the bulk HDF. Good agreement exists between the IR calculations and the EPMA data for the same diamond. Combining our data with the absorption coefficient of water and correcting for the effect of salinity, the IR spectra show that most of the low-Mg carbonatitic to silicic HDFs have ~20wt.% water while the high-Mg carbonatitic ones carry only ~10%. Our results show that IR spectroscopy alone can be used as a semi-quantitative method to determine carbonatitic to silicic HDF compositions in microinclusion-bearing diamonds. In combination with EPMA, a full characterization of the major constituents is achieved, including carbonate and water content.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)26-34
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Geology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Hebrew University Mineral collection for donating the mineral specimens used in this work and George Rossman and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments. Research was funded by BSF grant #2004161 to Oded Navon.


  • Conversion factor
  • EPMA
  • High density fluid (HDF)
  • IR absorption
  • Microinclusion-bearing diamonds


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