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Am. Mineral. 70 (1985) 344

Am. Mineral. 70 (1985) 344

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H. O. A. Meyer: Genesis of diamond: a mantle saga
H. O. A. Meyer: Genesis of diamond: a mantle saga

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AmericanMineralogist,Volume70,pages44-355,1985
Genesisf diamond:a mantlesaga
HsNnv O.A. MeYEnDepartment of GeosciencesPurdue UniuersityWestLafayette,lndiana47907AbstractA model for thegenesisfnatural diamondispresentedasedon thephysical,chemicaland mineralogicalpropertiesand featuresf diamond.Opticalstudiessuggesthatindividualdiamondshave had complexgrowthhistoriesn whichgrowthand dissolutionmayhaveoccurred.Growth wasnot always continuousnor diddiamondsgrowin necessarilyimilarchemicalenvironments.Evidenceor this isprovidedbyvariationin thenitrogen andtraceelement ontentsndiamondsas well asnformationfrom studiesof themineralsncludedndiamond. Isotopicdata suggest hatdiamondsformedfrom carbonwhosesourcesvariedisotopically.Thepossibilityexists hatsomediamondsmaybeproductsofrecycledubductedcarbon,whereasothers haveformed fromprimordial materialeitherthroughmagmaticormetasomaticprocesses.tis also likely thatmostdiamondsformedin theArchaeanorProterozoic.The cognatehostrocksfor diamondinthe mantlewereseveralbut canbebroadlygroupedinto eclogitic andultramafic(peridotitic); however,nmineralogicandchemical detailthese rocks arequitediverse.Althoughdiamondis commonlyfoundinkimberlite andin lamproite atthe earth'ssurface, heseworocks arenotgeneticallyelatedto diamondformation.nstead hey arethe transportingvehiclesn whichdiamondascendedrapidlyfrom mantledepths othecrust.Introductioninitial evidenceor thislatteridea was thediscovery ofAlthough diamondhasbeenasourceoffascination, hediamondinaneclogitexenolithfrom kimberlite(Bonney,origin of thismineral hasforcenturiesperplexedman.1899).Du Toit(1906),Wagner(1914)and Sutton(1928)Greekphilosophersand medieval alchemistsziscribedmodifiedhis idea andsuggestedhat theeclogiteandperi-manymysticalpropertiesto diamond.When takenas adotitexenolithswere cognatewith thekimberlite. Dia-powder,voluntarily or involuntarily,t could, amongothermondwas thusgenetically related to theearly crys-things, curediseases,oisononesenemiesormake thetallizationof kimberlitemagma.
honest strongand agile. An unusualbelief, especiallyheldin Greeceand India was thatdiamond couldprocreateitself-a boontotheowner of a diamondmine.In 1772Lavoisier demonstratedthat diamond,likecarbon,would burn in air.However, itwas only later in1797that SmithsonTennantprovedthat diamond consist-ed of carbon.This led severalgentlemenscientistsof thenineteenthcenturyto suggest that diamondwas formedthrough theaction of heat andpressureonplantremains(DesCloizeaux,1855; Goppert,1862).The discoveryof diamondsin a volcanic rock(kimber-lite) at Kimberley, SouthAfrica in1871 ed to more scien-tific,and lessphilosophicalstudies. This didnot, however,detervarious authorsfrompresentingopposingview-points,as summarizedby Williams(1932).For example,Lewis(1887)considered hatdiamond formedin the crustasthe kimberlitehost rock solidifled-thecarbonbeingderivedfrom coal andother carbonaceousmaterial.In contrastothers maintainedthat diamondshad orig-inallyformed in ultrabasicrocks at depths, andwere subse-quently released as the rocksfractured upon incorporationinto thekimberlite melt(Harger,1905; Holmes,1936).The0003-{04xl85/0304-{344$02.00
The abovewo hypothesesave asted untilthepresentandhavedevelopedwith somemodificationsinto thephenocrystversusxenocrystschoolsDawson,1980).Forexample,Gurneyet al.(1979)andHarte et al.(1980)main-tainthat diamondsaregenetically elated toearly crys-tallizationproductsof kimberlitewithinthe uppermantleandare thusphenocrysts. ncontrast,Meyer andTsai(1976a),Robinson(1978),andMeyer(1982a,b)havearguedhat diamondsareaccidentalnclusionsn kimber-lite and thus arexenocrysts; he associationof diamondandkimberlite beingone ofpassengerndtransportingvehicle.Most scientistsamiliar with diamondconcedehat dia-mondhasgrownstablywithin theuppermantle(KennedyandNordlie,1968;Meyer andBoyd,1972;Orlov,L973;Sobolev,1974;Robinson,1978).Omittedforpurposesfthisdiscussionare thepolycrystallineaggregatesf dia-mond(carbonado,ramesite,boart) whichhavereceivedlittle scientifictudyTrueband DeWys,1969;1971;TruebandBarrett,1972; GurneyandBoyd, 1982) andwhoseoriginis evenmore uncertainthanthe singlecrystaldia-mond consideredere.344
 
Suggestionssto thesourceofcarbonfromwhichdia-mond formshavebeendiverseandrangefromcoalandplantremainsas favoredn the 1800's,ocarbondioxideand methaneoday.However,whetheror notthecarbon sprimitiveor fromrecycledcrustal materialisa necessaryquestion.Currentstudieson carbon sotopes Deines,1980;1982;Milledgeetal.,1983),s wellas on nitrogen (Becker,1982)and raregasesOzimaand Zashu,1983)bear on thisquestion.An importantfactorinunderstandinghe formationofnaturaldiamondis affordedbydetailedexaminationofmineralsncludedn diamond.Thesestudies,mostlycrys-tallographicand mineralogical,avebeeneviewedbySo-bolev(1974),MeyerandTsai(1976a),Harrisand Gurney(1979)and Meyer(1982a).sotopicstudiesofthese smallinclusionsndiamondare nowpossibleandfutureworkshouldprovidesignificantesultsconcerningdiamondandthe evolutionofthe uppermantle.Thispapersuggestsmodel forthegenesisf diamond,and its subsequent assageo theearth'ssurface.Currentinterestnthe evolutionofthe uppermantleandmagmagenerationonsidersiamondo bean unreactivehemicalprobefromthe depths.One aim ofthe discussionandmodelpresentederein stoplacehegenesisfdiamondwithinthecorrect contextof mantleprocesses.t is alsohopedthat thediscussionwill removevariousmisunder-standingshatareprevalentwithrespecto diamondandits relationshipo kimberliteandother rocks.A subsidiaryaim of thispaperisto bringto theattentionof mineral-ogists he largeamount of importantinformationcontrib-uted byphysicistsodiamond research,and equallytoexposephysicistsogeologicalprocessesttendentondia-mond formationand thesubsequentistoryofdiamond.Althoughthe host rocksfordiamondat theearth's sur-faceare kimberliteand lamproite,t isbelievedhattheserocksare notgeneticallyelatedo diamond.Accordingly,it isnotthe aimof thispapero dwellonthe natureof thechemicaland mineralogicaldifferenc€sbetweenvariouskimberlites,and betweenkimberlitesand lamproites.Theinterested eadersreferredo Dawson(1980)or kimber-lites, Mitchell (1984)or lamproites,andtheproceedingsvolumesofthe threenternationalKimberliteConferences.Physicalfeaturesof diamondA considerablemountof detailedstudy ntothephysicsof diamondhasbeenundertakenoverthepast35years(Berman,1965;Field,1979).Muchofthis researchassignificanceo mineralogyandbears onthe formationofdiamond.Figurelais aphotographofa typicalclearand colorlessdiamondwithoutany visiblelaws. Thisclarity,shownbymany diamonds,suggestso the observerrystallizationnasingleuninterruptedevent.This is notthecase. nFigurelb is shownapolishedand etchedsurfaceof adiamonddisplayinga seriesfgeometricalayers-referredto as thestratigraphyof diamond (Harrisonand Tolansky,1964;Seal, 1965).These patternswereinterpretedby Frank(1966)asbeingdue toperiodicgrowthonoctahedraland345Fig.l.(a)Atransparent,learand well shapedctahedronfdiamond.Octahedraldge mm.(b)Apolishedand etched ec-tion throughan octahedraliamond2.4mm onedge), howingthe nternaltratigraphyf diamond.ariousgrowthayers reeitherTypeor TypeI diamondFigure.1;HarrisonndTol-ansky, 964).cuboidsurfaces.Moredetailed descriptionsofthisphe-nomenonare to be found inSuzuki andLang(1976)andLang(1979).The stratigraphyof diamondcan alsobe llus-trated bycathodoluminescencenpolishedsurfaces fdia-mond(Moore,1979)and by X-raytopography(Lang,1979). hegrowthstratigraphys observedecause ariouslayers consist ofeither Type Ior Type IIdiamond, andthese two types havedifferentchemicalandphysicalpropertiesTable1).Thepresencef Type Iand II diamondwas irst demon-stratedby Robertsonet al.(1934)basedondifferencesnUV and IRabsorption.Lonsdale 1942)howed hatTypeIdiamondproducesextra X-raydiflractionreflections,orspikes.Thesespikeswere nterpretedo be duetoplateletswithinthe diamondstructure(Frank,1956).KaiserandBond(1959),ndater Lightowlersand Dean(1964) roved
MEYER:GENES/SOF DIAMOND:AMANTLE SAGA
 
t46MEYER: GENES/SOF DIAMOND:A MANTLESAGA
thepresencef nitrogen n Type I diamondsand showedacorrelationbetweennitrogen content and optical absorp-tionat 7.8pm (1282cm-r).In contrast Type II diamondcontainsvery ittle nitrogen and noplatelets.The aboveevidence uggestshat the stratigraphyof dia-mond recordsperiodic growthin chemicallydifferent envi-ronments,at least with respect o the amountof nitrogenpresent.Alternatively, he rate of crystallization,orlengthofresidenceimeafterpartial growthmay also contributeto differencesn nitrogencontent.At highpressuret ispossibleo causemigration ofthesubstitutional nitrogen in diamond so that thenitrogenaggregatesincluding platelets)ound in natural diamondsareproduced EvansandQi,1982).Basedon theresultsofthis study Evans andQisuggest hatType Iadiamondmust haveexisted or between200 millionand2000millionyears.This range ntimeis admittedly arge but is due toinsuffrcientnowledgeoftheactivationenergyof migrationof certain aggregatesn diamondat highpressurend tem-perature.Nevertheless,he data indicate that some dia-monds have hadgestationperiodsn excess f the age ofthe kimberlite eruption that transported hem tothecrust.In summary,althoughindividual diamonds aregrosslysimilarinphysical propertiesdetailedexamination showssubtle differencesesulting in fourdistincttypes of dia-mond(Table1). Growth of diamondsiscrystallogra-phicallydiscontinuous and reflectspossiblevariationinchemistryof thegrowthenvironment.Experimentalaggre-gationofnitrogentoformplateletsandothernitrogenaggegatesndiamond suggestsery long residence imesfordiamond within the uppermantlepriortoreachingheearth'ssurface.
Chemicalfeatures of diamondThepresenceofnitrogen as a majorimpurity in dia-mond has been noted,as also has the occurrenceof boron(< 20ppm)which accounts forthe semi-conductingpropertiesof Type IIb diamond(Table1). As a chemicalsinkforvariouselements, diamondis fairlypoorwithregard to concentrationlevels, although 58 elementshavebeenrecognized at the traceimpurity level(Sellschop,1979).Most ofthe results reported by Sellschopwere ob-tainedusing instrumental neutronactivation analysis,butearly studies used emissionspectrographictechniques(Chesley,1942;Raal, 1957).Elements occurring in amountsgreaterthan Ippmarelisted in Table 2(Sellschop,1979),andmost of these elementsare typicallypresentin silicateand sulfide magmas.In a significant contribution,Fesq et al.(1975)suggestedthat in certaininstances the trace elementsin diamondwerecontained in sub-microscopicinclusions thatrepre-sentedquenched,or temperaturere-equilibrated,melt fromwhichdiamond hadcrystallized;compositionof themeltwas thought to bepicritic.At the time of the study(1972-73)Fesq and coworkerswere able only to examinebatchesof diamonds, and thus the datarepresent diamondof dif-ferent typeand origin.Recent developmentsin analyticalTable 1. Somepropertiesof diamond
Cassficat ionType la-Xosr comnon,appror. 981 ofnatural dianonds.Containsnitrogen up to 2500ppn by uc.ss aggregares andplateletsType lb-Rarein naturc but mosc synthecic diamondE are oflhisLypeNitrogen<20prbyptin drsperscd Eubstitutionalfom.Type lla-Very ra.e. NitroAen. 20pF by ur,Oftenthe verylargegen diamondsare rhis rype.Type 1lb-Ext.eoelyrare3ndgenerallyblc in color. Semi_conducrins(B.20pr by wt.) uoscpureEype of diadond.Space croup:Fd3tu-Oilunitcell:3.56683+o.oO00Ito 3.56125. O.oOOOrlDens ry:Type I-1.51537+0.00005gocn-3-Type 1I-3,51506+0,00005 gocn-rUltrsviolet andlnfraredType I-SrronS absorpLion<140nn and blteen 6tollxlo3nmType II-Trsnspare.rto225nma.dberueen6to llxlo3nmType ra-various(e.e.colortess,paleyerrov,brom)rype lb-various(e.s.yerlou,dark brom)type lIa_Colorless,broenTYpe tIb-lllueTherftalConductrviEyType la-6OO-1OOO -I K-l(at293"K)Type lI-ZOOO-ztOOm-1 K-l(at293'K)Res s t Lvr yTvpe I->1016ohmnIype lla-ca.lu'"ohn nTyp€IIb-tol-to5"n.'
techniques(e.g.nuclear activationandultra sensitivegammaray spectroscopy)have enabledtrace elements tobe studiedin a single diamond,and theresults shouldpro-vide significantinformationregarding the chemicaldiffer-encesbetweenthe various typesofdiamond.Various diamondshave diflerenttrace element contents(Sellschop,1979). This variationin trace element contentsuggests that differentdiamondshave not alwaysformedunder identicalchemical conditionseven thoughthe dia-monds mayhave been obtainedfrom the samekimberlitepipe.If coloris due tovariation in trace elementcontent,Table2. Elementsresentndiamondmaximumppmby weight)
ElementHINoNaMgAI
si
Ir00IO5500r70034370I00EO
EleE€ntNTCuAgBaCeHg
280403058t4t15
Elenent Anount
s90clcK48ca195Ti8crt000ln5Fet40
Elenent6present indiarcnd<lpFbyut:Elenentspresent indiabondbutnoabsolutevalues avarlable:F, Sc, V, As, Rb, Sr,Sb, C3, Ih, Eu,Tb,Dy, Ho, Yb, Lu, Hf,Ta, W, Ir, AuAr,zn, Ga, Ge,Br,Zr,Sn,Nd, U, Sn, Gd Er, Pt,Pb,Data frm sellschop(1979,andpers.coom.)

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