The involvement of diamond-forming fluids in the metasomatic ‘cocktail’ of kimberlite sources

Yaakov Weiss*, Steven L. Goldstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Microinclusion-bearing diamonds offer the opportunity to investigate relationships between mantle metasomatism, diamond formation and kimberlite eruptions in intracratonic provinces. We have analyzed a suite of 7 microinclusion-bearing diamonds from the Finsch Group II kimberlite, South Africa, and identified two diamond populations: ‘Finsch IaA’ diamonds have nitrogen solely in A-centers and contain saline high-density-fluid (HDF) microinclusions, while ‘Finsch IaAB’ diamonds have nitrogen in both A- and B-centers (25–35% B-centers) and are characterized by carbonatite HDF compositions. Based on nitrogen aggregation states and estimates for mantle residence temperatures, we conclude that ‘Finsch IaA’ diamonds formed during a young saline metasomatic event that preceded kimberlite eruption by ~50 kyr to 15 Myr. The possible timing of metasomatism and formation of ‘Finsch IaAB’ diamonds by carbonatite HDFs is less constrained, and could have taken place between ~15 Myr and 2 Gyr before eruption. Two of the diamonds encapsulated omphacite microinclusions in association with saline or low-Mg carbonatitic-like HDF. We observe compositional differences for Al2O3 vs. CaO between these metasomatised omphacites, and also compared to omphacites in mantle eclogites which were identified as metasomatised by kimberlite or high-Mg carbonatite; suggesting a possible relationship between Al2O3 and CaO in metasomatised omphacite and the type of fluid/melt it interacted with. The combined data for microinclusion-bearing diamonds from the Finsch Group II kimberlite and the neighbouring Group I kimberlites at Koffiefontein and De Beers Pool indicate that a substantial volume of the southwest Kaapvaal deep lithosphere was impacted by saline metasomatism during Cretaceous time, and a direct relationship between saline metasomatism, diamond formation and the Kaapvaal late-Mesozoic ‘kimberlite bloom’. We therefore conclude that saline HDFs play a key role in the buildup of metasomatic mantle sources leading to kimberlite eruptions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)149-167
Number of pages19
JournalMineralogy and Petrology
Volume112
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Clinopyroxene
  • Diamond-forming fluids
  • Finsch
  • Kaapvaal
  • Kimberlite
  • Lithosphere
  • Metasomatism

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