Sheahan Diamond Literature Technical Reference Compilation 2019
The Sheahan Diamond Literature Reference Compilation
The Sheahan Diamond Literature Reference Compilation is compiled by Patricia Sheahan who publishes on a monthly basis a list of new scientific articles related to diamonds as well as media coverage and corporate announcementscalled the Sheahan Diamond Literature Service that is distributed as a free pdf to a list of followers. Pat has kindly agreed to allow her work to be made available as an online digital resource at Kaiser Research Online so that a broader community interested in diamonds and related geology can benefit. The references are for personal use information purposes only; when available a link is provided to an online location where the full article can be accessed or purchased directly. Reproduction of this compilation in part or in whole without permission from the Sheahan Diamond Literature Service is strictly prohibited. Return to Diamond Resource Center
Sheahan Diamond Literature Reference Compilation - Scientific Articles by Author for all years
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Abstract: The Benfontein kimberlite is a renowned example of a sill complex and provides an excellent opportunity to examine the emplacement and evolution of intrusive kimberlite magmas. We have undertaken a detailed petrographic and melt inclusion study of the Benfontein Upper, Middle and Lower sills. These sills range in thickness from 0.25 to 5?m. New perovskite and baddeleyite U/Pb dating produced ages of 85.7?±?4.4?Ma and 86.5?±?2.6?Ma, respectively, which are consistent with previous age determinations and indicate emplacement coeval with other kimberlites of the Kimberley cluster. The Benfontein sills are characterised by large variations in texture (e.g., layering) and mineral modal abundance between different sill levels and within individual samples. The Lower Sill is characterised by carbonate-rich diapirs, which intrude into oxide-rich layers from underlying carbonate-rich levels. The general paucity of xenogenic mantle material in the Benfontein sills is attributed to its separation from the host magma during flow differentiation during lateral spreading. The low viscosity is likely responsible for non-explosive emplacement of the Benfontein sills, while the rhythmic layering is attributed to multiple magma injections. The Benfontein sills are marked by the excellent preservation of olivine and groundmass mineralogy, which is composed of monticellite, spinel, perovskite, baddeleyite, ilmenite, apatite, calcite, dolomite along with secondary serpentine and glagolevite [NaMg6[Si3AlO10](OH,O)8•H2O]. This is the first time glagolevite is reported in kimberlites. Groundmass spinel exhibits atoll-textures and is composed of a magnesian ulvöspinel - magnetite (MUM) or chromite core, surrounded by occasional pleonaste and a rim of Mg-Al-magnetite. We suggest that pleonaste crystallised as a magmatic phase, but was resorbed back into the residual host melt and/or removed by alteration. Analyses of secondary inclusions in olivine and primary inclusions in monticellite, spinel, perovskite, apatite and interstitial calcite are largely composed of Ca-Mg carbonates and, to a lesser extent, alkali-carbonates and other phases. These inclusions probably represent the entrapment of variably differentiated parental kimberlite melts, which became progressively more enriched in carbonate, alkalis, halogens and sulphur during crystal fractionation. Carbonate-rich diapirs from the Lower Sill contain more exotic phase assemblages (e.g., Ba-Fe titanate, barite, ancylite, pyrochlore), which probably result from the extreme differentiation of residual kimberlite melts followed by physical separation and isolation from the parental carbonate-rich magma. It is likely that any alkali or halogen rich minerals crystallising in the groundmass were removed from the groundmass during syn-/post-magmatic alteration, or in the case of Na, remobilised to form secondary glagolevite. The Benfontein sill complex therefore provides a unique example of how the composition of kimberlites may be modified after magma emplacement in the upper crust.
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, Vol. 174, 8 22p.
Africa, South Africa, Russia, Canada, Northwest Territories
deposit - Bultfontein, Roberts Victor, Udachnaya-East, Obnazhennaya, Vtorogodnitsa, Koala, Leslie
Abstract: Djerfisherite (K6(Fe,Ni,Cu)25S26Cl) occurs as an accessory phase in the groundmass of many kimberlites, kimberlite-hosted mantle xenoliths, and as a daughter inclusion phase in diamonds and kimberlitic minerals. Djerfisherite typically occurs as replacement of pre-existing Fe-Ni-Cu sulphides (i.e. pyrrhotite, pentlandite and chalcopyrite), but can also occur as individual grains, or as poikilitic phase in the groundmass of kimberlites. In this study, we present new constraints on the origin and genesis of djerfisherite in kimberlites and their entrained xenoliths. Djerfisherite has extremely heterogeneous compositions in terms of Fe, Ni and Cu ratios. However, there appears to be no distinct compositional range of djerfisherite indicative of a particular setting (i.e. kimberlites, xenoliths or diamonds), rather this compositional diversity reflects the composition of the host kimberlite melt and/or interacting metasomatic medium. In addition, djerfisherite may contain K and Cl contents less than the ideal formula unit. Raman spectroscopy and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) revealed that these K-Cl poor sulphides still maintain the same djerfisherite crystal structure. Two potential mechanisms for djerfisherite formation are considered: (1) replacement of pre-existing Fe-Ni-Cu sulphides by djerfisherite, which is attributed to precursor sulphides reacting with metasomatic K-Cl bearing melts/fluids in the mantle or the transporting kimberlite melt; (2) direct crystallisation of djerfisherite from the kimberlite melt in groundmass or due to kimberlite melt infiltration into xenoliths. The occurrence of djerfisherite in kimberlites and its mantle cargo from localities worldwide provides strong evidence that the metasomatising/infiltrating kimberlite melt/fluid was enriched in K and Cl. We suggest that kimberlites originated from melts that were more enriched in alkalis and halogens relative to their whole-rock compositions.
Abstract: Diamonds from Juina, Brazil, are well-known examples of superdeep diamond crystals formed under sublithospheric conditions and evidence would indicate their origins lie as deep as the Earth’s mantle transition zone and the Lower Mantle. Detailed characterization of these minerals and of inclusions trapped within them may thus provide precious minero-petrogenetic information on their growth history in these inaccessible environments. With the aim of studying non-destructively the structural defects in the entire crystalline volume, two diamond samples from this locality, labelled JUc4 and BZ270, respectively, were studied in transmission mode by means of X-ray Diffraction Topography (XRDT) and micro Fourier Transform InfraRed Spectroscopy (µFTIR). The combined use of these methods shows a good fit between the mapping of spatial distribution of extended defects observed on the topographic images and the µFTIR maps corresponding to the concentration of N and H point defects. The results obtained show that both samples are affected by plastic deformation. In particular, BZ270 shows a lower content of nitrogen and higher deformation, and actually consists of different, slightly misoriented grains that contain sub-grains with a rounded-elongated shape. These features are commonly associated with deformation processes by solid-state diffusion creep under high pressure and high temperature.
Abstract: The Grand Canyon is a gigantic geological library, with rocky layers that tell much of the story of Earth’s history. Curiously though, a sizeable layer representing anywhere from 250 million years to 1.2 billion years is missing. Known as the Great Unconformity, this massive temporal gap can be found not just in this famous crevasse, but in places all over the world. In one layer, you have the Cambrian period, which started roughly 540 million years ago and left behind sedimentary rocks packed with the fossils of complex, multicellular life. Directly below, you have fossil-free crystalline basement rock, which formed about a billion or more years ago. So where did all the rock that belongs in between these time periods go? Using multiple lines of evidence, an international team of geoscientists reckons that the thief was Snowball Earth, a hypothesized time when much, if not all, of the planet was covered in ice.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 265-6.
Abstract: The effect of fluorescence on the appearance of diamonds has been a subject of debate for many years (Moses et al., 1997). In the trade, fluorescence is generally perceived as an undesirable characteristic. Nearly 80% of diamonds graded at HRD Antwerp receive a “nil” fluorescence grade, while the remainder are graded as “slight,” “medium,” and “strong,” their value decreasing with level of fluorescence. To understand how fluorescence might change diamond appearance, a selection of 160 round brilliant-cut diamonds were investigated in detail. This study focused on the effect of thetic samples, it is possible that some of the observed phosphorescence does not involve boron impurities. In this paper we report on the results of combined fluorescence, phosphorescence, thermoluminescence, and quantitative charge transfer investigations undertaken on both HPHT and CVD synthetic diamond, with the objective of identifying which defects are involved in the fluorescence and phosphorescence processes.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 505, pp. 162-172.
Abstract: The isopycnicity hypothesis states that the lithospheric mantle of ancient platforms has a unique composition such that high density due to low lithosphere temperature is nearly compensated by low-density composition of old cratonic mantle. This hypothesis is supported by petrological studies of mantle xenoliths hosted in kimberlite magmas. However, the representativeness of the kimberlite sampling may be questioned, given that any type of magmatism is atypical for stable regions. We use EGM2008 gravity data to examine the density structure of the Siberian lithospheric mantle, which we compare with independent constraints based on free-board analysis. We find that in the Siberian craton, geochemically studied kimberlite-hosted xenoliths sample exclusively those parts of the mantle where the isopycnic condition is satisfied, while the pristine lithospheric mantle, which has not been affected by magmatism, has a significantly lower density than required by isopycnicity. This discovery allows us to conclude that our knowledge on the composition of cratonic mantle is incomplete and that it is biased by kimberlite sampling which provides a deceptive basis for the isopycnicity hypothesis.
Russian Geology and Geophysics, Vol. 59, 11, pp. 1389-1409.
Abstract: Precambrian cratons cover about 70% of the total continental area. According to a large volume of geomorphological, geological, paleontological, and other data for the Pliocene and Pleistocene, these cratons have experienced a crustal uplift from 100-200 m to 1000-1500 m, commonly called the recent or Neotectonic uplift. Shortening of the Precambrian crust terminated half a billion years ago or earlier, and its uplift could not have been produced by this mechanism. According to the main models of dynamic topography in the mantle, the distribution of displacements at the surface is quite different from that of the Neotectonic movements. According to seismic data, there is no magmatic underplating beneath most of the Precambrian cratons. In most of cratonic areas, the mantle lithosphere is very thick, which makes its recent delamination unlikely. Asthenospheric replacement of the lower part of the mantle lithosphere beneath the Precambrian cratons might have produced only a minor part of their Neotectonic uplifts. Since the above mechanisms cannot explain this phenomenon, the rock expansion in the crustal layer is supposed to be the main cause of the recent uplift of Precambrian cratons. This is supported by the strong lateral nonuniformity of the uplift, which indicates that expansion of rocks took place at a shallow depth. Expansion might have occurred in crustal rocks that emerged from the lower crust into the middle crust with lower pressure and temperature after the denudation of a thick layer of surface rocks. In the dry state, these rocks can remain metastable for a long time. However, rapid metamorphism accompanied by expansion of rocks can be caused by infiltration of hydrous fluids from the mantle. Analysis of phase diagrams for common crustal rocks demonstrates that this mechanism can explain the recent crustal uplift of Precambrian cratons.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 505, pp. 162-172.
Abstract: Some high-Mg eclogite xenoliths, entrained by kimberlites from the mantle lithospheres of ancient continental cores, and rare orogenic eclogites and ophiolites, exhumed or obducted during the closure of palaeo-ocean basins, have elemental and isotopic compositions indicative of protoliths that formed as little-differentiated melts erupted in ancient ocean floors. Despite metamorphism and, in part, partial melt loss, these samples of ancient mid-ocean ridge basalt and picrite retain a memory of the chemical and physical state of their protoliths' ambient convecting mantle sources. Published data show that, when filtered to exclude specimens with cumulate protoliths or showing evidence for later enrichment (metasomatism), the samples lack Y or Al 2 O 3 depletion relative to TiO 2 and MgO. This indicates melt segregation of the protolith predominantly from a garnet-free peridotite source and implies intersection of the solidus at low pressures (=3 GPa). Given the dependence of melt composition and volume on source composition (assumed to be similar to modern depleted mantle) and mantle potential temperature (T P), we calculate moderate average melt fractions F (~0.22 ± 0.01) from the Ti contents of the least differentiated samples in three sample suites with 2.6 to 2.9 Ga ages. This converts to T P of ~1410 ± 10 • C assuming a final pressure of melting of 0.5 GPa, melt productivity of 10%/GPa and mantle adiabat of 0.4 • C/km, and using a mantle solidus parameterisation. Though model-dependent, the results are in agreement with recent work advocating moderate Archaean mantle T P. Estimates drop to F = 0.19 and T P = 1380 • C at 1.9 Ga and F = 0.12 and T P = 1310 at 0.6 Ga, corresponding to a decrease in T P of only ~100 • C over the last 3 Ga. A less depleted mantle source yields higher F and T P , but the above estimates are in better agreement with qualitative evidence from Al 2 O 3 and Y, and with Nd-Hf and Sr isotope compositions of orogenic eclogite and granulite suites and mantle eclogites, respectively, which indicate that portions of the Meso-to Neoarchaean mantle were depleted. Moderate T P supports early plate strengthening and a possible transition to plate tectonics in the Mesoarchaean if not earlier. Moreover, moderate temperatures in Archaean subduction zones may have facilitated deep recycling of volatiles that would otherwise have been lost from subducting slabs at shallow depths.
Abstract: Strontium and Pb isotopic compositions of clinopyroxene (cpx) in selected samples from three well-characterised eclogite suites with oceanic crustal protoliths (Lace/Kaapvaal craton, Orapa/Zimbabwe craton and Koidu/West African craton) were acquired by high-precision isotope dilution thermal ionisation mass spectrometry (ID-TIMS) and in situ multicollector-laser ablation-inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-LA-ICPMS). The aims of this study are twofold: (1) assess their utility to obtain formation or resetting age constraints and identify elemental signatures that enhance the chances of successful age dating, and (2) to confirm the veracity and utility of results obtained by novel MC-LA-ICPMS techniques. Strontium-Pb isotope systematics of eclogitic cpx measured in this study are decoupled and may reflect addition of unsupported radiogenic Sr during seawater alteration or interaction with oceanic sediments in subduction mélanges, and/or disturbance due to mantle metasomatism, to which the more incompatible Pb is more susceptible. Despite a complex history, subsets of samples yield meaningful model dates. Clinopyroxene fractions from Lace with high Pb contents (3-6?ppm), unradiogenic Pb isotopic compositions (206Pb/204Pb?=?13.57-13.52) and low 238U/204Pb (1.0-1.5) give single-stage model Pb dates of 2.90-2.84?Ga. In contrast, samples from Orapa plot to the right of the Geochron and do not yield meaningful Pb model ages. However, these data do define secondary isochrons that can be modelled to yield minimum age constraints on major events affecting the cratonic lithosphere. Within the uncertainties, the resultant 2.18?±?0.45?Ga age obtained for Koidu eclogites reflect disturbance of the Pb isotope system due to subduction beneath the craton linked to the Eburnean orogeny, while they retained their unradiogenic 87Sr/86Sr (0.7016). Similarly, the age for samples from Orapa (2.20?±?0.54?Ga) is interpreted as an overprint age related to Palaeoproterozoic accretion at the western craton margin. Gabbroic eclogites (Eu/Eu*?>?1) with plagioclase-rich protoliths having low time-integrated Rb/Sr and U/Pb retain the least radiogenic Sr and, in part, Pb. High model µ (9.0 to 9.1) for several eclogites from Lace with elevated LREE, Th and Pb abundances reflects ca. 3.0?Ga addition of a sedimentary component, possibly derived from reworking of a high-µ basaltic protocrust, as observed on other cratons. We suggest that sample targeting can be usefully guided by fast-throughput in situ LA-ICPMS techniques, which largely yield results identical to ID-TIMS, albeit at lower precision, and which can further help identify kimberlite contamination in the mineral separates used for solution work.
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, Vol. 174, 23p.
Abstract: We report highly siderophile element (HSE) abundances and Re-Os isotope compositions, obtained by isotope dilution induc-tively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, of olivine separates from a suite of multiply metasomatised peridotite xenoliths entrained in kimberlites from SW Greenland. Combined with petrographic and compositional observations on accessory base metal sulphides (BMS), the results reveal new insights into the chemical, physical and mineralogical effects of multi-stage rifting and associated melt percolation on the Archaean lithospheric mantle. Refertilised lherzolites are dominated by rare to frequent small (tens of µm) BMS inclusions in olivine, whereas modally metasomatised phlogopite-bearing lherzolite and wehrlites have higher proportions of more Ni-rich BMS, including abundant large interstitial grains (hundreds of µm). The olivine separates display depleted HSE systematics with Primitive Upper Mantle (PUM)-normalised Pd/Ir of 0.014-0.62, and have both depleted and enriched 187 Os/ 188 Os (0.1139-0.2724) relative to chondrite that are not correlated with 187 Re/ 188 Os. Four out of ten olivine separates retain similarly depleted Os corresponding to Re-depletion model ages of 2.1-1.8 Ga. They may reflect Palaeoproterozoic refertilisation (lherzolitisation) during Laurentia plate assembly, with re-introduction of clinopyroxene and Os-rich BMS into the originally refractory mantle lithosphere by asthenosphere-derived basaltic melts, followed by recrystallisation and occlusion in olivine. Unradiogenic Os is observed regardless of lithology, including from peridotites that contain abundant interstitial BMS. This reflects addition of Os-poor BMS (<< 1 ppm) during more recent wehrlitisation and phlogopite-introduction, and control of the Os isotopic signature by older Os-rich BMS that precipitated from the basaltic melt. Depletions in compatible HSE (< 0.5 × PUM for Ru, Ir, Os) in all, but one olivine separate reflect nugget effects (amount of depleted vs. metasomatic BMS inclusions) and/or loss due to sulphide dissolution into oxidising small-volume melts that invaded the lithosphere during recurrent rifting, the latter supported by similar depletions in published bulk peridotite data. Combined, these multiple metasomatic events destroyed all vestiges of Mesoarchaean or older inheritance in the olivine separates investigated here, and highlight that caution is needed when interpreting Proterozoic Os model ages in terms of Proterozoic lithosphere stabilisation.
Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, 24, pp. 13,240-13,248.
Abstract: We measure the incorporation of magnesium oxide (one of the main components of Earth's mantle) into iron (the main constituent Earth's core), using extremely high pressure and temperature experiments that mimic the conditions of Earth's mantle and core. We find that magnesium oxide dissolution depends on temperature but not on pressure, and on metal (i.e., core) composition but not silicate (i.e., mantle) composition. Our findings support the idea that magnesium oxide dissolved in the core during its formation will precipitate out during subsequent core cooling. The precipitation should stir the entire core to produce a magnetic field in Earth's distant past, at least as intense as the present-day field.
Abstract: Major, trace element concentrations and Nd, Sr and Ca stable isotopic compositions (d44/40Ca and d44/42Ca w.r.t. NIST SRM915a) of carbonatites and associated igneous silicate rocks from the ~65?Ma old Ambadongar carbonatite complex and the surrounding Phenai Mata igneous complex of western India are reported. Samples of fluorspar from Ambadongar and the Bagh Limestone and Sandstone, which are part of the country rocks at Ambadongar, have also been analysed. The Ambadongar carbonatites are primarily calcio- and ferro-carbonatites while the silicate rocks from these two complexes are alkaline and tholeiitic in composition. The d44/40Ca values of the carbonatites (0.58-1.1‰, n?=?7) and the associated igneous silicate rocks (0.50-0.92‰, n?=?14) show a broad range. The low K/Ca values of the carbonatites (<0.2) and silicate rocks (<2) along with their young eruption age (~65 Ma) rule out any effect of radiogenic 40Ca ingrowth due to decay of 40K on the d44/40Ca values. The lack of correlations between d44/40Ca and Mg# as well as La/Yb(N) values suggest that the variability in d44/40Ca is not controlled by the degree of partial melting. The d44/40Ca values of the carbonatites (0.58-1.1‰) overlap with that of the upper mantle/Bulk Silicate Earth and is mostly higher than the d44/40Ca value of the Bagh Limestone (0.66‰) suggesting that assimilation of these crustal limestones by the magma is unlikely to have caused the variability in d44/40Ca of the carbonatites. In plots of d44/40Ca versus eNd(t) and 87Sr/86Sr(t), the igneous silicate rocks from the Ambadongar and Phenai Mata complexes plot on a mixing trend between a primitive (plume) mantle source and the continental crustal basement suggesting the role of continental crustal contamination during eruption of the Reunion plume. While simple binary mixing calculations yield unrealistically high amounts of crustal contamination (40%), assimilation and fractional crystallization (AFC) models suggest up to 20% contribution from a heterogeneous basement for these igneous silicate rocks. The role of continental crustal contamination in the genesis of the igneous silicate rocks is further supported by their unradiogenic eNd(t), radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr(t) and low Ce/Pb values. In contrast, carbonatites plot away from the mixing trend between a primitive mantle (plume) source and continental crust in Ca-Sr-Nd isotopic diagrams suggesting that the Ca isotopic variability of carbonatites is not caused by continental crustal contamination. In contrast, the isotopic composition of the carbonatites can be explained by mixing of the plume end-member with up to 20% of ~160?Ma-old recycled carbonates suggesting their derivation from a highly heterogeneous, recycled carbonate-bearing plume mantle source. The composition of one carbonatite sample showing unusually high d44/40Ca and highly radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr(t) is explained by hydrothermal alteration which is also invoked for the formation of massive fluorspar deposits with high d44/40Ca (1.44‰) at Ambadongar. In a plot of d44/40Ca versus K/Rb, the carbonatites plot towards the phlogopite end-member (d44/40Ca?=?1‰, K/Rb?=?40-450) while the igneous silicate rocks plot towards the amphibole end-member (d44/40Ca?=?0.44‰, K/Rb >1000). Phlogopite, especially if F-rich, is stable at greater depths in the mantle compared to amphibole. Hence, the correlated d44/40Ca and K/Rb values of the carbonatites and associated igneous silicate rocks suggest the derivation of these carbonatites from a relatively deeper mantle source compared to the silicate rocks, both within the Reunion mantle plume. The origin of the carbonatites from the F-rich phlogopite-bearing mantle is also consistent with the occurrence of large fluorspar deposits within the Ambadongar carbonatite complex.
A geochemical and Nd, Sr and stable Ca isotopic study of carbonatites and associated silicate rocks from the ~65 Ma old Ambadongar carbonatite complex and the Phenai Mata igneous complex, Gujarat, India: implications for crustal contamination, carbonate r
Abstract: Security of supply of “hi-tech” raw materials (including the rare earth elements (REE) and some high-field-strength elements (HFSEs)) is a concern for the European Union. Exploration and research projects mostly focus on deposit- to outcrop-scale description of carbonatite- and alkaline igneous-associated REE-HFSE mineralization. The REE-HFSE mineral system concept and approach are at a nascent stage, so developed further here. However, before applying the mineral system approach to a chosen REE-HFSE metallogenic province its mineral system extent first needs defining and mapping. This shifts a mineral system project’s foundation from the mineral system concept to a province’s mineral system extent. The mapped extent is required to investigate systematically the pathways and potential trap locations along which the REE-HFSE mass may be distributed. A workflow is presented to standardize the 4-D definition of a REE-HFSE mineral system at province-scale: (a) Identify and hierarchically organize a mineral system’s genetically related sub-divisions and deposits, (b) map its known and possible maximum extents, (c) name it, (d) discern its size (known mineral endowment), and (e) assess the favorability of the critical components to prioritize further investigations. The workflow is designed to generate process-based perspective and improve predictive targeting effectiveness along under-evaluated plays of any mineral system, for the future risking, comparing and ranking of REE-HFSE provinces and plays.
Dyke Swarms of the World: a modern perspective, Srivastava et al. eds. Springer , pp. 263-314.
Africa, West Africa, South America
Abstract: Eight different generations of dolerite dykes crosscutting the Paleoproterozoic basement in West Africa and one in South America were dated using the high precision U-Pb TIMS method on baddeleyite. Some of the individual dykes reach over 300 km in length and they are considered parts of much larger systems of mafic dyke swarms representing the plumbing systems for large igneous provinces (LIPs). The new U-Pb ages obtained for the investigated swarms in the southern West African Craton (WAC) are the following (oldest to youngest): 1791?±?3 Ma for the N010° Libiri swarm, 1764?±?4 Ma for the N035° Kédougou swarm, 1575?±?5 for the N100° Korsimoro swarm, ~1525-1529 Ma for the N130° Essakane swarm, 1521?±?3 Ma for the N90° Sambarabougou swarm, 915?±?7 Ma for the N070° Oda swarm, 867?±?16 Ma for the N355° Manso swarm, 202?±?5 Ma and 198?±?16 Ma for the N040° Hounde swarm, and 200?±?3 Ma for the sills in the Taoudeni basin. The last ones are related to the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) event. The Hounde swarm is oblique to the dominant radiating CAMP swarm and may be linked with the similar-trending elongate Kakoulima intrusion in Guinea. In addition, the N150° Käyser swarm (Amazonian craton, South America) is dated at 1528?±?2 Ma, providing a robust match with the Essakane swarm in a standard Amazonia-West African craton reconstruction, and resulting in a combined linear swarm >1500 km by >1500 km in extent. The Precambrian LIP barcode ages of c. 1790, 1765-1750, 1575, 1520, 915. 870 Ma for the WAC are compared with the global LIP record to identify possible matches on other crustal blocks, with reconstruction implications. These results contribute to the refinement of the magmatic ‘barcode’ for the West African and Amazonian cratons, representing the first steps towards plausible global paleogeographic reconstructions involving the West African and Amazonian cratons.
Doklady earth Sciences, Vol. 483, 1, pp. 1427-1430.
Abstract: Experimental studies were performed in the Fe3C-SiO2-(Mg,Ca)CO3 system (6.3 GP?, 1100-1500°C, 20-40 h). It is established that the carbide-oxide-carbonate interaction leads to the formation of ferrosilite, fayalite, graphite, and cohenite (1100 and 1200°?), as well as a Fe-C melt (1300°?). It is determined that the main processes in the system are decarbonation, redox-reactions of cohenite and a CO2-fluid, extraction of carbon from carbide, and crystallization of metastable graphite (± diamond growth), as well as the formation of ferriferous silicates. The interaction studied can be considered as a simplified model of the processes that occur during the subduction of oxidized crustal material to reduced mantle rocks.
Abstract: Of great importance in the problem of redox evolution of mantle rocks is the reconstruction of scenarios of alteration of Fe°- or Fe3C-bearing rocks by oxidizing mantle metasomatic agents and the evaluation of stability of these phases under the influence of fluids and melts of different compositions. Original results of high-temperature high-pressure experiments (P = 6.3 GPa, T = 1300-1500°?) in the carbide-oxide-carbonate systems (Fe3C-SiO2-(Mg,Ca)CO3 and Fe3C-SiO2-Al2O3-(Mg,Ca)CO3) are reported. Conditions of formation of mantle silicates with metallic or metal-carbon melt inclusions are determined and their stability in the presence of CO2-fluid representing the potential mantle oxidizing metasomatic agent are estimated. It is established that garnet or orthopyroxene and CO2-fluid are formed in the carbide-oxide-carbonate system through decarbonation, with subsequent redox interaction between CO2 and iron carbide. This results in the formation of assemblage of Fe-rich silicates and graphite. Garnet and orthopyroxene contain inclusions of a Fe-C melt, as well as graphite, fayalite, and ferrosilite. It is experimentally demonstrated that the presence of CO2-fluid in interstices does not affect on the preservation of metallic inclusions, as well as graphite inclusions in silicates. Selective capture of Fe-C melt inclusions by mantle silicates is one of the potential scenarios for the conservation of metallic iron in mantle domains altered by mantle oxidizing metasomatic agents.
Abstract: In this study, we present a number of experiments on the transformation of graphite, diamond, and multiwalled carbon nanotubes under high pressure conditions. The analysis of our results testifies to the instability of diamond in the 55-115 GPa pressure range, at which onion-like structures are formed. The formation of interlayer sp3-bonds in carbon nanostructures with a decrease in their volume has been studied theoretically. It has been found that depending on the structure, the bonds between the layers can be preserved or broken during unloading.
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, Vol. 19, 12, pp. 4694-4721.
Abstract: Basaltic lavas, created by melting the convecting mantle, show variability of concentration of trace element that are correlated with their affinity for the liquid phase during melting. The observed variability in lavas and melt inclusions carries information about heterogeneity in the mantle. The difficulty is to disentangle the contributions of source heterogeneity (i.e., spatial variability of mantle composition before melting) and process heterogeneity (i.e., spatial and temporal variability in melt transport). Here we develop an end-member model of the source heterogeneity and show that it is inadequate to explain observations.
Abstract: We conducted a magnetotelluric (MT) study from Paleoproterozoic Rio de la Plata Craton, in Uruguay, toward Paleozoic-Mesozoic Paraná Basin, in Brazil. The 850-km-long MT transect comprises 35 evenly spaced broadband electromagnetic soundings sites. In the Paraná Basin, 11 additional long-period measurements were acquired to extend the maximum depth of investigation. All data were inverted using two- and three-dimensional approaches obtaining the electrical resistivity structure from the surface down to 200 km. The Rio de la Plata Craton is >200-km thick and resistive (~2,000 Om). Its northern limit is electrically defined by a lithosphere scale lateral transition and lower crust conductive anomalies (1-10 Om) interpreted as a Paleoproterozoic suture at the southern edge of Rivera-Taquarembó Block. The latter is characterized by an approximately 100-km thick and moderate resistive (>500 Om) upper mantle. The Ibaré shear zone is another suture where an ocean-ocean subduction generated the 120-km thick and resistive (>1,000 Om) São Gabriel juvenile arc. Proceeding northward, a 70- to 80-km thick, 150-km wide, and inclined resistive zone is imaged. This zone could be remnant of an oceanic lithosphere or island arcs accreted at the southern border of Paraná Basin. The MT transect terminates within the southern Paraná Basin where a 150- to 200-km-thick less resistive lithosphere (<1,000 Om) may indicate refertilization processes during plate subduction and ocean closure in Neoproterozoic-Cambrian time. Our MT data support a tectonic model of NNE-SSW convergence for this segment of SW Gondwanaland.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 275.
Abstract: Diamond is often romanticized as a symbol of purity and perfection, with values that exceed all other gemstones. However, even the most flawless and colorless natural diamonds have atomic-level imperfections. Somewhat ironically, the rarest and most valuable gem diamonds are those that contain abundant impurities or certain atomic defects that produce beautiful fancy colors such as red, blue, or green—stones that can sell for millions of dollars per carat. Atomic defects can consist of impurities such as nitrogen or boron that substitute for carbon atoms in the diamond atomic structure (resulting in classifications such as type Ia, type Ib, type IIa, and type IIb) or missing or misaligned carbon atoms. Some defects are created during diamond growth, while others are generated over millions to billions of years as the diamond sits deep in the earth at high temperatures and pressures. Defects may be created when the diamond is rapidly transported to the earth’s surface or by interaction with radioactive fluids very near the earth’s surface. Each defect selectively absorbs different wavelengths of light to produce eye-visible colors. Absorptions from these color-producing defects (or color centers) are detected and identified using the gemological spectroscope or more sensitive absorption spectrometers such as Fouriertransform infrared (FTIR) or ultraviolet/visible/near-infrared (UV-Vis-NIR; figure 1). Some defects not only absorb light but also produce their own luminescence, called fluorescence. For example, the same defect that produces “cape” yellow diamonds also generates blue fluorescence when exposed to ultraviolet light. In some cases, the fluorescence generated by defects can be strong enough to affect the color of gem diamonds. With the exception of most natural white and black diamonds, where the color is a product of inclusions, colored diamonds owe their hues to either a single type of defect or a combination of several color centers. More than one type of defect can produce a particular color, however. Table 1 provides a list of the most common causes of color in diamond. Subtle differences in atomic defects can drastically affect a diamond’s color. For example, isolated atoms of nitrogen impurities usually produce strong yellow color (“canary” yellow diamonds). If those individual nitrogen atoms occur together in pairs, no color is generated and the diamond is colorless. If instead the individual nitrogen atoms occur adjacent to missing carbon atoms (vacancies), the color tends to be pink to red. Rearrangement of diamond defects is the foundation of using treatments to change the color of diamond. Identification of treatments and separation of natural and synthetic diamond requires a thorough understanding of the atomic-level imperfections that give rise to diamond color and value.
Abstract: Deep crustal and mantle rocks are exhumed in core complex mode of extension in three types of structures: metamorphic core complexes, oceanic core complexes and magma poor passive margins. Using available analogue and numerical models and their comparison with natural examples, the present paper reviews the mechanical processes involved in these different types of extensional setting. Three main aspects are considered: i) the primary role of lithosphere rheology, ii) the lithosphere-scale patterns of progressive deformation that lead to the exhumation of deep metamorphic or mantle rocks and iii) the initiation and development of detachment zones. Crustal core complexes develop in continental lithospheres whose Moho temperature is higher than 750 °C with “upper crust-dominated” strength profiles. Contrary to what is commonly believed, it is argued from analogue and numerical models that detachments that accommodate exhumation of core complexes do not initiate at the onset of extension but in the course of progressive extension when the exhuming ductile crust reaches the surface. In models, convex upward detachments result from a rolling hinge process. Mantle core complexes develop in either the oceanic lithosphere, at slow and ultra-slow spreading ridges, or in continental lithospheres, whose initial Moho temperature is lower than 750 °C, with “sub-Moho mantle-dominated” strength profiles. It is argued that the mechanism of mantle exhumation at passive margins is a nearly symmetrical necking process at lithosphere scale without major and permanent detachment, except if strong strain localization could occur in the lithosphere mantle. Distributed crustal extension, by upper crust faulting above a décollement along the ductile crust increases toward the rift axis up to crustal breakup. Mantle rocks exhume in the zone of crustal breakup accommodated by conjugate mantle shear zones that migrate with the rift axis, during increasing extension.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 303.
Abstract: A group of natural diamonds known as chameleon diamonds change color from green to yellow based on their exposure to light and heat. These diamonds also emit long-lived phosphorescence after UV excitation. We have observed the optical response of these diamonds to optical and thermal excitation and developed a model to explain the observed phenomena. A principal element of the model is the proposal of an acceptor state (figure 1), which should be observable in the near-infrared (NIR) region. Subsequently, we have observed the NIR absorption to this acceptor state, supporting our model of charge-transfer processes in these diamonds.
Abstract: The Tapajós mineral province (TMP), in the Brazilian Amazon Craton, comprises NW-SE Paleoproterozoic insular magmatic arcs accreted to the Carajás Archean Province (CAP). We present new geological and geophysical data pointing toward a different evolutionary model for the TMP. Results obtained from magnetic data indicate that NNW-SSE trending structures occur at shallow crustal levels. Furthermore, an E-W structural framework shows up at 15.4 km depth, in disagreement with the accreted island arc orientation. These E-W structures are associated with north-dipping blocks, reflecting ductile compressive tectonics, similar to the tectonic setting found in the CAP. We interpret these E-W structures of the TMP as the continuity westwards of similar structures from the CAP, under the Paleoproterozoic volcanic rocks of the Uatumã Supergroup. Based on this evidence, we propose that Paleoproterozoic arcs have been formed in an Archean active continental margin, instead of in island arcs. This novel tectonic setting for the TMP has significant implications for the tectonic evolution and the metallogenic potential of the southern portion of the Amazon craton, particularly for Paleoproterozoic magmatic-hydrothermal (epithermal and porphyry) precious and base metal systems.
Abstract: Dr. Laurent Cartier and Dr. Saleem Ali of the Knowledge Hub recently co-authored an overview article on traceability in the gem and jewellery industry. This paper was published in the Journal of Gemmology and is entitled 'Blockchain, Chain of Custody and Trace Elements: An Overview of Tracking and Traceability Opportunities in the Gem Industry'. Recent developments have brought due diligence, along with tracking and traceability, to the forefront of discussions and requirements in the diamond, coloured stone and pearl industries. This article provides an overview of current trends and developments in the tracking and traceability of gems, along with an explanation of the terms used in this context. Further, the article discusses current initiatives in the sector and provides an introduction blockchain concepts.
Abstract: Extensive partial melting of the middle to lower crustal parts of orogens, such as of the current Himalaya-Tibet orogen, significantly alters their rheology and imposes first-order control on their tectonic and topographic evolution. We interpret the late Proterozoic Araçuaí orogen, formed by the collision between the São Francisco (Brazil) and Congo (Africa) cratons, as a deep section through such a hot orogen based on U-Pb sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) zircon ages and Ti-in-zircon and Zr-in-rutile temperatures from the Carlos Chagas anatectic domain. This domain is composed of peraluminous anatexites and leucogranites that typically exhibit interconnected networks of garnet-rich leucosomes or a magmatic foliation. Zirconium-in-rutile temperatures range from 745 to 820 °C, and the average Ti-in-zircon temperature ranges from 712 to 737 °C. The geochronologic and thermometry data suggest that from 597 to 572 Ma this domain was partially molten and remained so for at least 25 m.y., slowly crystallizing between temperatures of ~815 and >700 °C. Significant crustal thickening must have occurred prior to 600 Ma, with initial continental collision likely before 620 Ma, a time period long enough to heat the crust to temperatures required for widespread partial melting at middle crustal levels and to favor a "channel flow" tectonic behavior.
Abstract: Models of the volume of continental crust through Earth history vary significantly due to a range of assumptions and data sets; estimates for 3?Ga range from <10% to >120% of present day volume. We argue that continental area and thickness varied independently and increased at different rates and over different periods, in response to different tectonic processes, through Earth history. Crustal area increased steadily on a pre-plate tectonic Earth, prior to ca. 3?Ga. By 3?Ga the area of continental crust appears to have reached a dynamic equilibrium of around 40% of the Earth's surface, and this was maintained in the plate tectonic world throughout the last 3?billion?years. New continental crust was relatively thin and mafic from ca. 4-3?Ga but started to increase substantially with the inferred onset of plate tectonics at ca. 3?Ga, which also led to the sustained development of Earth's bimodal hypsometry. Integration of thickness and area data suggests continental volume increased from 4.5?Ga to 1.8?Ga, and that it remained relatively constant through Earth's middle age (1.8-0.8?Ga). Since the Neoproterozoic, the estimated crustal thickness, and by implication the volume of the continental crust, appears to have decreased by as much as 15%. This decrease indicates that crust was destroyed more rapidly than it was generated. This is perhaps associated with the commencement of cold subduction, represented by low dT/dP metamorphic assemblages, resulting in higher rates of destruction of the continental crust through increased sediment subduction and subduction erosion.
South African Journal of Geology, Vol. 121, pp. 253-260.
Abstract: The definition of a lopolith as a large planar-convex (downward) intrusion was coined by F.F. Grout one hundred years ago for the proposed shape of the Duluth gabbro. Subsequent research has challenged the concept that it is a single body, and that it has the lateral extent (under Lake Superior) and shape originally proposed. Other large basic intrusions have shapes, especially for their lower contacts, that are difficult to constrain, and none can be convincingly shown to be of the proposed shape of a lopolith. Their inferred or proposed shapes range from wedge to funnel to planar shaped, with a rarely exposed vertical feeder, and with angles to the sides that vary from minimal to very steep, and variably contorted surface plan. If no intrusions fit the definition, should the term lopolith be discontinued?
Russian Geology and Geophysics, Vol. 59, 11, pp. 1450-1460.
Abstract: We consider a hypothesis for the origin of PGE-bearing ultramafic rocks of the Inagli massif (Central Aldan) through fractional crystallization from ultrabasic high-potassium magma. We studied dunites and wehrlites of the Inagli massif and olivine lamproites of the Ryabinovy massif, which is also included into the Central Aldan high-potassium magmatic area. The research is focused on the chemistry of Cr-spinels and the phase composition of Cr-spinel-hosted crystallized melt inclusions and their daughter phases. Mainly two methods were used: SEM-EDS (Tescan Mira-3), to establish different phases and their relationships, and EPMA, to obtain precise chemical data on small (2-100 µm) phases. The obtained results show similarity in chromite composition and its evolutionary trends for the Inagli massif ultramafites and Ryabinovy massif lamproites. The same has been established for phlogopite and diopside from crystallized melt inclusions from the rocks of both objects. Based on the results of the study, the conclusion is drawn that the ultramafic core of the Inagli massif resulted from fractional crystallization of high-potassium melt with corresponding in composition to low-titanium lamproite. This conclusion is consistent with the previous hypotheses suggesting an ultrabasic high-potassium composition of primary melt for the Inagli ultramafites.
Journal of Metamorphic Geology, Vol. 37, 1, pp. 113-151.
Abstract: The Central Indian Tectonic Zone (CITZ) is a Proterozoic suture along which the Northern and Southern Indian Blocks are inferred to have amalgamated forming the Greater Indian Landmass. In this study, we use the metamorphic and geochronological evolution of the Gangpur Schist Belt (GSB) and neighbouring crustal units to constrain crustal accretion processes associated with the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Indian Blocks. The GSB sandwiched between the Bonai Granite pluton of the Singhbhum craton and granite gneisses of the Chhotanagpur Gneiss Complex (CGC) links the CITZ and the North Singhbhum Mobile Belt. New zircon age data constrain the emplacement of the Bonai Granite at 3,370 ± 10 Ma, while the magmatic protoliths of the Chhotanagpur gneisses were emplaced at c. 1.65 Ga. The sediments in the southern part of the Gangpur basin were derived from the Singhbhum craton, whereas those in the northern part were derived dominantly from the CGC. Sedimentation is estimated to have taken place between c. 1.65 and c. 1.45 Ga. The Upper Bonai/Darjing Group rocks of the basin underwent major metamorphic episodes at c. 1.56 and c. 1.45 Ga, while the Gangpur Group of rocks were metamorphosed at c. 1.45 and c. 0.97 Ga. Based on thermobarometric studies and zircon-monazite geochronology, we infer that the geological history of the GSB is similar to that of the North Singhbhum Mobile Belt with the Upper Bonai/Darjing and the Gangpur Groups being the westward extensions of the southern and northern domains of the North Singhbhum Mobile Belt respectively. We propose a three-stage model of crustal accretion across the Singhbhum craton - GSB/North Singhbhum Mobile Belt - GC contact. The magmatic protoliths of the Chhotanagpur Gneisses were emplaced at c. 1.65 Ga in an arc setting. The earliest accretion event at c. 1.56 Ga involved northward subduction and amalgamation of the Upper Bonai Group with the Singhbhum craton followed by accretion of the Gangpur Group with the Singhbhum craton-Upper Bonai Group composite at c. 1.45 Ga. Finally, continent-continent collision at c. 0.96 Ga led to the accretion of the CGC with the Singhbhum craton-Upper Bonai Group-Gangpur Group crustal units, synchronous with emplacement of pegmatitic granites. The geological events recorded in the GSB and other units of the CITZ only partially overlap with those in the Trans North China Orogen and the Capricorn Orogen of Western Australia, indicating that these suture zones are not correlatable.
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, Vol. 174, 4, doi.org/10. 1007/s00410-018-1530-x 13p.
Abstract: Here we present an experimental study of the distribution of a broad range of trace elements between carbonatite melt, calcite and fluorite. The experiments were performed in the CaCO3 + CaF2 + Na2CO3 ± Ca3(PO4)2 synthetic system at 650-900 °C and 100 MPa using rapid-quench cold-seal pressure vessels. Starting mixtures were composed of reagent-grade oxides, carbonates, Ca3(PO4)2 and CaF2 doped with 1 wt% REE-HFSE mixture. The results show that the distribution coefficients of all the analyzed trace elements for calcite and fluorite are below 1, with the highest values observed for Sr (0.48-0.8 for calcite and 0.14-0.3 for fluorite) and Y (0.18-0.3). The partition coefficients of REE gradually increase with increasing atomic number from La to Lu. The solubility of Zr, Hf, Nb and Ta in the synthetic F-rich carbonatitic melts, which were used in our experiments, is low and limited by crystallization of baddeleyite and Nb-bearing perovskite.
Abstract: Maohokite, a post-spinel polymorph of MgFe2O4, was found in shocked gneiss from the Xiuyan crater in China. Maohokite in shocked gneiss coexists with diamond, reidite, TiO2-II, as well as diaplectic glasses of quartz and feldspar. Maohokite occurs as nano-sized crystallites. The empirical formula is (Mg0.62Fe0.35Mn0.03)2+Fe3+2O4. In situ synchrotron X-ray microdiffraction established maohokite to be orthorhombic with the CaFe2O4-type structure. The cell parameters are a = 8.907 (1) Å, b = 9.937(8) Å, c = 2.981(1) Å; V = 263.8 (3) Å3; space group Pnma. The calculated density of maohokite is 5.33 g cm-3. Maohokite was formed from subsolidus decomposition of ankerite Ca(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2 via a self-oxidation-reduction reaction at impact pressure and temperature of 25-45 GPa and 800-900 °C. The formation of maohokite provides a unique example for decomposition of Fe-Mg carbonate under shock-induced high pressure and high temperature. The mineral and its name have been approved by the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification of the International Mineralogical Association (IMA 2017-047). The mineral was named maohokite after Hokwang Mao, a staff scientist at the Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington, for his great contribution to high pressure research.
Abstract: This paper focuses on formation of subcalcic Cr-rich garnet (up to 14.25?wt% Cr2O3) in the model ultramafic system corresponding to natural harzburgite with the presence of REE-bearing fluid phase. The experiments were carried out using a “split-sphere” type multi-anvil high-pressure apparatus (BARS) at a pressure of 5?GPa and a temperature of 1300?°C. Natural serpentine, chromite, corundum and REE-carbonatite were used as starting components. Crystallization of garnet occurred in subsolidus conditions by the reaction of orthopyroxene and spinel in the presence of fluid phase. Composition of fluid was controlled by interaction of water released by decomposition of serpentine with carbonate. By using different amounts of carbonatite (0.5 and 1.5?wt%) as a source of calcium and REE, subcalcic Cr-rich garnets with up to 3.5?wt% CaO were crystallized, which are typical for inclusions of harzburgitic paragenesis in natural diamonds. The experiments demonstrated that the rare earth elements (REE) released from the initial carbonatite were transported by the fluid and were incorporated into the newly formed garnet. The distribution of REE in garnet revealed a vivid enrichment toward the heavy REE (HREE), showing the pattern with a very steep slope. These results confirmed high partitioning of HREE into garnet. The present study indicates that the mantle carbonatites, which contain very high proportions of light REE (LREE) to HREE, can play an important role as source material in formation of REE-rich fluids to crystallize garnets with typical REE patterns in mantle peridotites.
Abstract: The CIM Mineral Exploration Best Practice Guidelines (the Exploration Guidelines) have been prepared to assist professional geoscientists and engineers to conduct consistently high-quality work in order to maintain public confidence. The Exploration Guidelines are meant to assist professional geoscientists and exploration practitioners in planning, supervising, and executing exploration programs. In Canada, there are generally two types of public resource reporting: “Disclosure”, as defined by NI 43-101, is the reporting of technical information to the public and market participants for securities legislation purposes where a Qualified Person (QP) must be involved, and reporting of exploration information for governmental agencies to support obligations under laws including the Mining Acts of each of the Provinces and Territories. The Exploration Guidelines are also relevant where the results will not be publicly reported but are intended for internal company use. While this document is intended as guidance for work conducted or supervised by geoscientists in Canada, many of the practices described herein can be adapted to mineral exploration activities in other countries. The Exploration Guidelines are not intended to inhibit original thinking, or to prevent the application of new approaches that may develop into fundamental components of successful mineral exploration programs. Rather than provide prescriptive solutions to specific issues, they include general guidelines for current professional practice and to demonstrate and defend the merits of new methods. These guidelines do not preclude individuals and companies from developing more detailed guidelines specific to their own requirements. The initial version of the Exploration Guidelines was prepared by the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Exploration Best Practices Committee and adopted by CIM Council on August 20, 2000. On January 9, 2018, CIM Council formed a new committee, the Mineral Resources and Reserves Committee (CIM MRMR Committee) with a mandate to, among other things, update the Exploration Best Practice Guidelines. The mandate for the committee was accepted by CIM Council on March 2, 2018. The new Exploration Guidelines document was adopted by the CIM Council on November 23, 2018.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 509, 1, pp. 88-99.
geophysics - seismic
Abstract: An endothermic phase transition in mantle material at 660-km depth constitutes a barrier that in most cases prevents the direct penetration of subducted slabs. Seismic tomography shows that subducted material is in many subduction zones trapped at the bottom of the transition zone, just above the 660-km phase boundary. Recent tomographic models however also report subducted material that penetrates to the shallow lower mantle, and there it is observed to flatten at about 1000-km depth. Models of slab dynamics that generally assume sharp rheological transition at 660-km depth, however, mostly predict slab stagnation at the bottom of the transition zone. Multiple lines of evidence, including recent experiments, indicate that viscosity may gradually increase in the uppermost ~300 km of the lower mantle, rather than simply changing abruptly at the upper-lower mantle boundary. Here we present the results of a modeling study focused on the effects of rheological transition between upper and lower mantle material on slab deformation and stagnation. We test the effects of smoothing the viscosity increase over 300 km and shifting it to a depth of 1000 km or even deeper. We show that slab ability to penetrate to the lower mantle is mainly controlled by the trench migration rate, which in turn is affected by crustal viscosity. Coupling between the subducting and overriding plates thus plays a key role in controlling slab penetration to the lower mantle and stagnation in the deep transition zone or shallow lower mantle. Models with strong crust and consequently negligible rollback display penetration to the lower mantle without much hindrance and no stagnation above or below the 660-km interface, regardless of viscosity stratification in the shallow lower mantle. Models with weak crust are characterized by fast rollback, and penetration is very limited as slabs buckle horizontally and flatten above the 660-km boundary. Most interesting from the point of view of shallow lower mantle stagnation are models with intermediate crustal viscosity. Here rollback is efficient, though slower than in weak-crust cases. Horizontally lying slab segments are trapped in the transition zone if the sharp viscosity increase occurs at 660 km, but shifting the viscosity increase to 1000 km depth allows for efficient sinking of the flat-lying part and results in temporary stagnation below the upper-lower mantle boundary at about 1000 km depth.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 276.
Abstract: Diamond characterization is carried out via a wide variety of gemological and chemical analyses. An important analytical tool for this purpose is spectroscopic characterization utilizing both absorption and emission measurements. The main techniques are UV-visible and infrared spectroscopy, though Raman as well as cathodoluminescence spectroscopy are also used. We have used electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy to compare the properties of treated colored diamonds to the pretreated stones. The colors studied were blue, orange, yellow, green, and pink. The EPR technique determines radicals (atoms with unpaired electrons) and is very sensitive, capable of measuring concentrations as low as ~1 × 10–17 radicals/cm3. The results, shown in table 1, indicate that all the carbon radicals determined are affected by adjacent nitrogen atoms, with the spectra showing a hyperfine structure attributed to the presence of nitrogen. The highest concentration of radicals and hyperfine structures is observed in pink and orange treated diamonds. The results concerning nitrogen concentration were correlated with the infrared spectra, which determine the absorption peaks of the diamonds as well as those of the nitrogen contamination in their crystal structure.
Abstract: The existence of undulations of the geoid, gravity and bathymetry in ocean basins, as well as anomalies in heat flow, point to the existence of small scale convection beneath tectonic plates. The instabilities that could develop at the base of the lithosphere are sufficiently small scale (< 500 km) that they remain mostly elusive from seismic detection. We take advantage of 3D spherical numerical geodynamic models displaying plate-like behavior to study the interaction between large-scale flow and small-scale convection. We find that finger-shaped instabilities develop at seafloor ages > 60 Ma. They form networks that are shaped by the plate evolution, slabs, plumes and the geometry of continental boundaries. Plumes impacting the boundary layer from below have a particular influence through rejuvenating the thermal lithosphere. They create a wake in which new instabilities form downstream. These wakes form channels that are about 1000 km wide, and thus are possibly detectable by seismic tomography. Beneath fast plates, cold sinking instabilities are tilted in the direction opposite to plate motion, while they sink vertically for slow plates. These instabilities are too small to be detected by usual seismic methods, since they are about 200 km in lateral scale. However, this preferred orientation of instabilities below fast plates could produce a pattern of large-scale azimuthal anisotropy consistent with both plate motions and the large scale organisation of azimuthal anisotropy obtained from recent surface wave models.
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, Vol. 173, 12, pp. 106-
Abstract: Multiphase solid inclusions in minerals formed at ultra-high-pressure (UHP) provide evidence for the presence of fluids during deep subduction. This study focuses on barian mica, which is a common phase in multiphase solid inclusions enclosed in garnet from mantle-derived UHP garnet peridotites in the Saxothuringian basement of the northern Bohemian Massif. The documented compositional variability and substitution trends provide constraints on crystallization medium of the barian mica and allow making inferences on its source. Barian mica in the multiphase solid inclusions belongs to trioctahedral micas and represents a solid solution of phlogopite KMg3(Si3Al)O10(OH)2, kinoshitalite BaMg3(Al2Si2)O10(OH)2 and ferrokinoshitalite BaFe3(Al2Si2)O10(OH)2. In addition to Ba (0.24-0.67 apfu), mica is significantly enriched in Mg ( X Mg 0.85 to 0.95), Cr (0.03-0.43 apfu) and Cl (0.04-0.34 apfu). The substitution vector involving Ba in the I-site which describes the observed chemical variability can be expressed as BaFeIVAlClK-1Mg-1Si-1(OH)-1. A minor amount of Cr and VIAl enters octahedral sites following a substitution vector VI(Cr,Al)2?VI(Mg,Fe)-3 towards chromphyllite and muscovite. As demonstrated by variable Ba and Cl contents positively correlating with Fe, barian mica composition is partly controlled by its crystal structure. Textural evidence shows that barian mica, together with other minerals in multiphase solid inclusions, crystallized from fluids trapped during garnet growth. The unusual chemical composition of mica reflects the mixing of two distinct sources: (1) an internal source, i.e. the host peridotite and its garnet, providing Mg, Fe, Al, Cr, and (2) an external source, represented by crustal-derived subduction-zone fluids supplying Ba, K and Cl. At UHP-UHT conditions recorded by the associated diamond-bearing metasediments (c. 1100 °C and 4.5 GPa) located above the second critical point in the pelitic system, the produced subduction-zone fluids transporting the elements into the overlying mantle wedge had a solute-rich composition with properties of a hydrous melt. The occurrence of barian mica with a specific chemistry in barium-poor mantle rocks demonstrates the importance of its thorough chemical characterization.
International Journal of remote sensing, Vol. 39, 23, pp. 8387-8427.
Abstract: This editorial has its origins in a keynote presentation entitled ‘The Evolution of the Development of Remote Sensing Technologies - the Last 40 years’ which I gave at the 9th International Conference and Exhibition on Geospatial and Remote Sensing (9 IGRSM 2018) in Kuala Lumpur 24-25 April 2018 ‘Geospatial Enablement’. The editorial is not intended to be a definitive history of remote sensing from the beginning up to the day of its submission for publication. Rather it represents a personal account to try to enable present-day practitioners of remote sensing to gain a slight appreciation of what went before the time when they were introduced to the subject. The fun in our group in the 1980s was being able to explore many possible new applications of remote sensing, some of which turned out to be successful and some of which turned out to be failures - for various reasons. At a first glance it may seem that the list of references is woefully inadequate. However this is not an encyclopaedic review of remote sensing as it now is, but an attempt to recall some of the history of how we got here. The references are only meant to document some of the things that are said. For other information we assume that readers will consult whatever search engine, Google, etc., that they commonly use. I chose 40 years because it seemed to me that 1978 was a landmark year for remote sensing. In that year three very important new satellite systems were launched into space, the TIROS-N satellite with the AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) on board, the SEASAT satellite and the NIMBUS-7 satellite with the CZCS (Coastal Zone Colour Scanner) on board. In addition to all these, the third satellite in the Landsat programme (Landsat 3) was launched in March 1978. Of rather less importance, it was the year of my very first remote sensing project which involved attempting to use CZCS data to study water quality parameters; we learned the hard way about the difficulties involved in conducting field experiments on a rapidly changing environmental system simultaneously with satellite overflights. 1978 was also just before the launch of the International Journal of Remote Sensing (IJRS) in 1980 and so the initial work on the start up of the IJRS was being done in 1978. This editorial is therefore divided into three parts (a) Part 1 remote sensing before 1978, (b) Part 2 1978, the year of the launch of three very important polar-orbiting satellites and (c) Part 3 remote sensing since 1978. Textbooks sometimes define remote sensing to mean the observation of, or gathering of information about, a target by a device separated from it by some distance. In practice it is usually taken to be more restricted than that. It is sometimes claimed that the expression ‘remote sensing’ was coined by geographers at the U.S. Office of Naval Research in the 1960s at about the time that the use of ‘spy’ satellites was beginning to move out of the military sphere and into the civilian sphere. Remote sensing is often regarded as being synonymous with the use of artificial satellites, but there is an ongoing history of air photos that preceded the satellites and goes right up to the recent development of UAVs (drones) which are likely to supersede satellites in some areas
Abstract: The sinking remnant of a surface plate crosses and interacts with multiple boundaries in Earth's interior. Here, we specifically investigate the prominent dynamic interaction of the sinking plate portion with the upper-mantle transition zone and its corresponding surface elevation signal. We unravel, for the first time, that the collision of the sinking slab with the transition zone induces a sudden, dramatic downward tilt of the upper plate towards the subduction trench. Unraveling this crucial interaction was only possible thanks to state-of-the-art numerical modelling and post-processing. The new model that is introduced here to study the dynamically self-consistent temporal evolution of subduction features accurate subduction-zone topography, robust single-sided plate sinking, stronger plates close to laboratory values, an upper-mantle phase transition, and simple continents at a free surface. To distinguish the impact of the new physical model features, three different setups are used: the simplest model setup includes a basic high-viscosity lower mantle, the second adds a 660-km phase transition, and the third includes, additionally, a continental upper plate. Common to all models is the clear topographic signal upon slab-transition-zone interaction: the upper plate tilts abruptly towards the subduction trench by about 0.05° and over around 10 Ma. This dramatic increase in upper-plate tilt can be related to the slab-induced excitation of the high-viscosity lower mantle, which introduces a wider flow pattern. A large change in horizontal extent of inundation of up to 900 km is observed as a direct consequence of the upper-plate tilting. Such an abrupt variation in surface topography and inundation extent should be clearly visible in temporal records of large-scale surface elevation and might explain continental tilting as observed in Australia since the Eocene and North America during the Phanerozoic.
International Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol. 108, pp. 89-113.
Abstract: There are two main points of view regarding how continental margins evolve. The first one argues that the present-day margins have been developed by long-term denudation since a major exhumation episode, probably driven by rifting or another relevant tectonic event. The second one argues that continental margins underwent alternating burial and exhumation episodes related to crustal tectonic and surface uplift and subsidence. To demonstrate that the proximal domain of the southwestern Angolan margin has evolved in a polycyclic pattern, we present a review of geological and thermochronological information and integrate it with new combined apatite fission-track and (U-Th)/He data from Early Cretaceous volcanic and Precambrian basement samples. We also provide hypotheses on the possible mechanisms able to support the vertical crustal movements of this margin segment, which are also discussed based on some modern rifting models proposed for Central South Atlantic. The central apatite fission-track ages range from 120.6?±?8.9 to 272.9?±?21.6 Ma, with the mean track lengths of approximately 12 µm. The single-grain apatite (U-Th)/He ages vary between 52.2?±?1 and 177.2?±?2.6 Ma. The integration of the thermochronological data set with published geological constraints supports the following time-temperature evolution: (1) heating since the Carboniferous-Permian, (2) cooling onset in the Early Jurassic, (3) heating onset in the Early Cretaceous, (4) cooling onset in the Mid- to Late Cretaceous, (5) heating onset in the Late Cretaceous, and (6) cooling onset in the Oligocene-Miocene. The thermochronological data and the geological constraints, support that the proximal domain of the southwestern Angolan margin was covered in the past by pre-, syn-, and post-rift sediments, which were eroded during succeeding exhumation events. For this margin segment, we show that a development based on long-term denudation is less realistic than one based on burial and exhumation episodes during the last 130 Myr.
Abstract: The breakup of continents and their subsequent drifting plays a crucial role in the Earth's periodic plate aggregation and dispersal cycles. While continental aggregation is considered the result of oceanic closure during subduction, what drives sustained divergence in the following stages remains poorly understood. In this study, thermo-mechanical numerical experiments illustrate the single contribution of subduction and coupled mantle flow to the rifting and drifting of continents. We quantify the drag exerted by subduction-induced mantle flow along the basal surface of continental plates, comparing models of lithospheric slab stagnation above the upper-lower mantle boundary with those where slabs penetrate into the lower mantle. When subduction is upper-mantle confined, divergent basal tractions localise at distances comparable to the effective upper mantle thickness (~ 500 km), causing the opening of a marginal basin. Instead, subduction of lithosphere in the lower mantle reorganises the flow into a much wider cell localising extensional stresses at greater distances from the trench (~ 3000 km). Sub-continental tractions are higher and more sustained over longer time periods in this case, and progressively increase as the slab sinks deeper. Although relatively low, basal-shear stresses when integrated over large plates, generate tension forces that may exceed the strength of the continental lithosphere, eventually leading to breakup and opening of a distal basin. The models illustrate the emergence of a similar mechanism, which results in the formation of back-arc basins above upper-mantle confined subduction, and scales to much larger distances for deeper subduction. Examples include the Atlantic Ocean formation and drifting of the South and North American plates during the Mesozoic-Cenozoic Farallon plate subduction.
Abstract: Thermal history models, that have been used to understand the geological history of Earth, are now being coupled to climate models to map conditions that allow planets to maintain surface water over geologic time - a criteria considered crucial for life. However, the lack of intrinsic uncertainty assessment has blurred guidelines for how thermal history models can be used toward this end. A model, as a representation of something real, is not expected to be complete. Unmodeled effects are assumed to be small enough that the model maintains utility for the issue(s) it was designed to address. The degree to which this holds depends on how unmodeled factors affect the certainty of model predictions. We quantify this intrinsic uncertainty for several parameterized thermal history models (a widely used subclass of planetary models). Single perturbation analysis is used to determine the reactance time of different models. This provides a metric for how long it takes low amplitude, unmodeled effects to decay or grow. Reactance time is shown to scale inversely with the strength of the dominant feedback (negative or positive) within a model. A perturbed physics analysis is then used to determine uncertainty shadows for model outputs. This provides probability distributions for model predictions and tests the structural stability of a model. That is, do model predictions remain qualitatively similar, and within assumed model limits, in the face of intrinsic uncertainty. Once intrinsic uncertainty is accounted for, model outputs/predictions and comparisons to observational data should be treated in a probabilistic way.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 305-6.
Abstract: Laboratory-grown diamonds are created using either high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) or chemical vapor deposition (CVD). With the influx of manmade diamonds on the market over the past few years, instrument producers and labs have launched screening and detection instruments to help dealers and jewelers spot HPHTor CVD-grown specimens. Most standard instruments are inaccurate testers or just type I and type II screening devices that do not give a definite answer about diamond genesis. Over the last four annual Mediterranean Gemmological and Jewellery Conferences and more than 30 workshops given in 17 countries, we have assembled a portable new Synthetic Diamond Identification Kit. The kit comprises two portable instruments and two booklets: 1) A PL inspector (mini UV lamp with magnifier) to inspect laboratory-grown, treated, and natural diamonds using long- and short-wave fluorescence and phosphorescence 2) A 2017 handbook with images and explanation of longand short-wave reactions of diamonds of all types 3) A mini foldable polariscope with portable light to separate natural diamonds using characteristic birefringence patterns from HPHT and CVD diamonds 4) A 2010 handbook with images and explanations of crosspolarized filter reactions of diamonds of all types The combination of this kit with professional training could identify all HPHT-grown diamonds and most CVD-grown diamonds on the market, loose or mounted. Also available are melee and jewelry inspectors consisting of larger UV lamps with magnifiers designed for identification of small loose or mounted diamonds. Different diamond types and subtypes can exhibit different birefringence under cross-polarized filters. A clear majority of natural diamonds exhibit some degree of internal strain, with type II natural diamonds showing a weak “tatami” pattern. HPHTgrown diamonds are free of such strain, and CVD-grown diamonds show mostly coarse columnar patterns. Most natural diamonds have a strong reaction to long-wave UV; this reaction is usually weaker (mostly blue) at shorter wavelengths. Laboratory-grown diamonds generally exhibit more intense fluorescence with short-wave UV compared to long-wave UV, with a chalky coloring tinged with green or yellow. Most HPHT-grown diamonds also phosphoresce. If a diamond is free of inclusions, fluorescence is a reliable screening test to flag suspicious stones that should be further checked under cross-polarized filters (figure 1). In the case of some rare near-colorless clean CVD-grown diamonds that do not show fluorescence or have a birefringence pattern that is coarse but resembling tatami in type IIa and weak patterns in natural Ia diamonds, additional tests using advanced spectroscopy and strong short-wave UV light to observe growth patterns are needed to confirm diamond genesis.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 273-4.
deposit - Karowe
Abstract: In November 2015, Lucara Diamond’s operation at the Karowe mine in Botswana gained notoriety due to the extraction of a series of large colorless diamonds, including the 1,109 ct Lesedi La Rona and the 812 ct Constellation. The Lesedi La Rona marks the largest gem diamond recovered since the Cullinan (3,106 ct) in 1905. The Constellation, considered to be the seventh-largest recorded diamond, attained the highest price ever paid for a rough, selling for $63.1 million ($77,649 per carat). Additionally, three other significant colorless diamonds were recovered during the same period, weighing 374, 296, and 183 ct. Due to the similarity in their external characteristics— which include cleavage faces—as well as their extraction locations and dates, it was suspected that these stones might have originated from a larger rough that had broken. Lucara demonstrated that the 374 ct diamond and the Lesedi La Rona fit together, yet a large cleavage plane is still unaccounted for. GIA was able to study several rough and/or faceted pieces of these five diamonds using a range of spectroscopic and imaging techniques to gain insight into the presence and distribution of point defects in these diamonds. Diamonds are commonly classified according to their nitrogen content measured by Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy: Type I diamonds contain nitrogen in either isolated (Ib) or aggregated (IaAB) forms, while type II diamonds do not contain detectable nitrogen concentrations (IIa) but may contain boron (IIb). Analysis of faceted stones cut from the Lesedi La Rona indicates that the rough is a mixed-type diamond, containing both type IIa and pure type IaB regions. These types of diamonds, though exceedingly unusual, have been observed at GIA and reported by Delaunay and Fritsch (2017). The Constellation and the 374, 296, and 183 ct diamonds were determined to be type IaB, containing 20 ± 4 ppm B-aggregates (N4V), in agreement with the concentration for the type IaB pieces of the Lesedi La Rona. Pure type IaB diamonds such as these are actually quite rare, accounting for only 1.2% of a random suite of 5,060 large (>10 ct) D-to-Z diamonds submitted to GIA, whereas 24.6% were type II. Photoluminescence spectra further confirmed analogous defect content for the five large Karowe diamonds, with emissions from H4 (N4V2 0, 496 nm), H3 (NVN0, 503 nm), 505 nm, NV– (637 nm), and GR1 (V0, 741 nm) defects showing similar relative intensities and peak widths. Even for diamonds of the same type, parallel defect content and characteristics across such a variety of defects is unlikely for unrelated stones. The external morphologies of the diamonds showed primary octahedral, resorbed, and fractured faces, with the Constellation and the 296 ct diamond featuring fractures containing metallic inclusions and secondary iron oxide staining. Deep UV fluorescence (< 230 nm) imaging elucidated the internal growth structures of the samples. For the Constellation and the 374, 296, and 183 ct diamonds, at least two growth zones with differing blue fluorescence intensities were observed within single pieces. Combined with the spectroscopic data, these results provide compelling evidence that the Lesedi La Rona, the Constellation, and the 374, 296, and 183 ct diamonds from Karowe had comparable growth histories and likely originated from the same rough, with a combined weight of at least 2,774 ct.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 265.
Abstract: Diamond, known for its splendor in exquisite jewelry, has been synthesized since the 1950s. In the last six decades, the perfection of laboratory-grown single-crystal diamond has vastly improved through the research and development of two main synthesis techniques. One replicates Earth’s natural process, where the diamond is grown in the laboratory under conditions of diamond stability at high temperature and high pressure (HPHT). The other technique relies on the dissociation of methane (or other carbon-containing source gas) and hydrogen and the subsequent deposition of diamond at low pressures from the gaseous phase in a process known as chemical vapor deposition (CVD). In the latter case, diamond is not the stable form of carbon, but the kinetics in the CVD process are such that diamond wins out. Large gem-quality synthetic diamonds are now possible, and a 6 ct CVD (2018) and a 15.32 ct HPHT (2018) have been reported. It is of course possible to differentiate laboratory-grown from natural diamond based on how extended and point defects are incorporated into the crystal. Furthermore, treated diamond can be identified utilizing knowledge of how defects are produced and how they migrate and aggregate in both natural and synthetic diamond samples. Room-temperature confocal photoluminescence microscopy can be used to image the emission of light from defects in diamond with a spatial resolution limited only by the diffraction limit; a lateral spatial resolution approaching 300 nm is routinely achieved (figure 1). It is possible with this tool to identify point defects with concentrations less than 1 part per trillion (1011 cm–3). This talk will outline the experimental setup, how this tool has been used to identify the decoration of dislocations with point defects in CVD lab-grown diamond, and how different mechanisms for defect incorporation operate at growth sector boundaries in HPHT synthetic diamond.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, Vol. 123, 10, pp. 8459-8473.
Abstract: Olivine is the most abundant and among the weakest phases in Earth's upper mantle, and thus, its rheological properties play a critical role in governing thermal structure and convective flow in the upper mantle. A persistent obstacle to constraining the in situ flow properties of olivine by laboratory experiment has been the difficulty in resolving the effect of pressure, which is weak within the 0- to ~2-GPa pressure range of conventional laboratory deformation instruments but potentially strong over the 1- to ~14-GPa range of the upper mantle. Using a deformation-DIA, one of a new generation of bonafide deformation devices designed for operation to =10 GPa, we have deformed dry, polycrystalline San Carlos olivine in high-temperature creep with the singular intent of providing the best achievable measurement of activation volume V* and a comprehensive statement of uncertainty. Under strictly dry conditions, at constant temperature (1,373 K) and strain rate (1 × 10-5 s-1), varying only pressure (1.8 to 8.8 GPa), we measure V* = 15 ± 5 cm3/mol. We have reproduced the well-known mechanism change from -slip to -slip near 5 GPa and determined that, whatever the change in V* associated with the change in slip system, the effective value of 15 ± 5 cm3/mol is still accurate for modeling purposes in the 2- to 9-GPa pressure range. This is a substantial pressure effect, which in the absence of a temperature gradient would represent a viscosity increase from the top to bottom of the upper mantle of 5 ± 2 orders of magnitude.
A half-century has passed since the dawning of the plate tectonic revolution, and yet, with rare exception, palaeogeographic models of pre-Jurassic time are still constructed in a way more akin to Wegener's paradigm of continental drift. Historically, this was due to a series of problems - the near-complete absence of in situ oceanic lithosphere older than 200 Ma, a fragmentary history of the latitudinal drift of continents, unconstrained longitudes, unsettled geodynamic concepts and a lack of efficient plate modelling tools - which together precluded the construction of plate tectonic models. But over the course of the last five decades strategies have been developed to overcome these problems, and the first plate model for pre-Jurassic time was presented in 2002. Following on that pioneering work, but with a number of significant improvements (most notably longitude control), we here provide a recipe for the construction of full-plate models (including oceanic lithosphere) for pre-Jurassic time. In brief, our workflow begins with the erection of a traditional (or ‘Wegenerian’) continental rotation model, but then employs basic plate tectonic principles and continental geology to enable reconstruction of former plate boundaries, and thus the resurrection of lost oceanic lithosphere. Full-plate models can yield a range of testable predictions that can be used to critically evaluate them, but also novel information regarding long-term processes that we have few (or no) alternative means of investigating, thus providing exceptionally fertile ground for new exploration and discovery.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 511, pp. 213-222.
Abstract: We report on laser-heated diamond anvil cell (LHDAC) experiments in the FeO-MgO-SiO2-CO2 (FMSC) and CaO-MgO-SiO2-CO2 (CMSC) systems at lower mantle pressures designed to test for decarbonation and diamond forming reactions. Sub-solidus phase relations based on synthesis experiments are reported in the pressure range of ~35 to 90 GPa at temperatures of ~1600 to 2200 K. Ternary bulk compositions comprised of mixtures of carbonate and silica are constructed such that decarbonation reactions produce non-ternary phases (e.g. bridgmanite, Ca-perovskite, diamond, CO2-V), and synchrotron X-ray diffraction and micro-Raman spectroscopy are used to identify the appearance of reaction products. We find that carbonate phases in these two systems react with silica to form bridgmanite ±Ca-perovskite + CO2 at pressures in the range of ~40 to 70 GPa and 1600 to 1900 K in decarbonation reactions with negative Clapeyron slopes. Our results show that decarbonation reactions form an impenetrable barrier to subduction of carbonate in oceanic crust to depths in the mantle greater than ~1500 km. We also identify carbonate and CO2-V dissociation reactions that form diamond plus oxygen. On the basis of the observed decarbonation reactions we predict that the ultimate fate of carbonate in oceanic crust subducted into the deep lower mantle is in the form of refractory diamond in the deepest lower mantle along a slab geotherm and throughout the lower mantle along a mantle geotherm. Diamond produced in oceanic crust by subsolidus decarbonation is refractory and immobile and can be stored at the base of the mantle over long timescales, potentially returning to the surface in OIB magmas associated with deep mantle plumes.
Abstract: Transition from a weak and erratic geomagnetic field to a more stable one around 560 million years ago, inferred from palaeomagnetic measurements, suggests that the inner core may have solidified around that time, much later than thought.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 269-270..
Abstract: While chemical vapor deposition (CVD) diamond growth technology has progressed significantly in recent years, with improvements in crystal size and quality, the use of these goods in the jewelry trade is still limited. Not all CVD-grown gem diamonds are submitted to GIA for grading reports, and they only account for about 0.01% of GIA’s annual diamond intake (both D–Z equivalents and fancy color; Eaton-Magaña and Shigley, 2016). The CVD process involves diamond growth at moderate temperatures (700–1300°C) but very low pressures of less than 1 atmosphere in a vacuum chamber (e.g., Angus and Hayman, 1988; Nad et al., 2015). This presentation summarizes the quality factors and other characteristics of the CVD-grown material submitted to GIA (e.g., figure 1) and discusses new research and products. Today the CVD process is used to produce high-color (as well as fancy-color) and high-clarity type II diamonds up to several carats in size. The majority of the CVD material seen at GIA consists of near-colorless (G–N equivalent) with colorless (D–F equivalent) and various “pink” hues. Additionally, CVD material is constantly setting new size milestones, with the announcement of an approximately 6 ct round brilliant earlier this year (Davis, 2018). However, the attainable sizes among CVD products are dwarfed by those from the HPHT process, with 15.32 ct as the current record for a faceted gem (Ardon and Eaton-Magaña, 2018). One particular challenge for gemologists (albeit very rarely encountered) comes from the lab-grown/natural hybrids (figure 2) that have been submitted to and documented by gemological laboratories (e.g., Moe et al., 2017; Tang et al., 2018). In these specimens, the grower places a natural diamond into the CVD reactor as the seed plate, with both components retained in the faceted gem. If the manufacturer is using a colorless natural type Ia diamond as a seed plate for near-colorless CVD growth, the hybrid cannot undergo any post-growth HPHT treatment, as this would radically alter the natural seed by turning the natural diamond yellow. If the manufacturer is creating a CVD overgrowth layer on a faceted natural diamond, the intent is to either add weight to a diamond that may be near a weight boundary or to achieve a color change, typically to blue. These hybrid products also make it more difficult to infer a diamond’s history based solely on its diamond type. The CVD process has also created some unique gems that have not been duplicated among natural, treated, or HPHT-grown diamonds. These include CVD-grown diamonds with a high concentration of silicon impurities, which create a pink to blue color shift. In those samples, a temporary effect was activated by UV exposure, which precipitated a charge transfer between negative and neutral silicon-vacancy centers (D’Haenens-Johansson et al., 2015). Also recently seen are type IIb CVD goods. Some that were submitted by clients had a low boron concentration (3 ppb, with G-equivalent color and 1.05 carat weight). Meanwhile, some research samples produced by a manufacturer in China and fashioned as flat plates had dark bluish coloration and very high boron concentration (2500 ppb and higher). Also among that suite of flat-plate CVD samples was one with a black color caused by extremely high amounts of nitrogen-vacancy centers. Although new CVD products are continually being manufactured and introduced to the trade, the laboratory-grown diamonds examined to date by GIA can be readily identified.
Abstract: Diamond is one of Earth’s most extraordinary materials. It represents the pinnacle for several material and physical properties. As a gem, however, it is the near-perfect examples—diamonds attaining the D-Flawless distinction—and those with imperfections resulting in a vibrant or surprising color that create the most enduring impressions. Fancy-color natural diamonds are among the most highly valued gemstones due to their attractiveness and great rarity. The 18.96 ct Winston Pink Legacy, with a color grade of Fancy Vivid pink, recently made history by selling at over $50 million, its $2.6 million per carat price an all-time high for a pink diamond (Christie’s, 2018).
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, Vol. 20, 1, pp. 120-147.
Abstract: We use advanced seismic imaging techniques (full-waveform tomography), constrained by data from background (ambient) seismic noise to image the upper mantle beneath the African continent and search for low-velocity structures (hot spots) that might coincide with regions of volcanism, surface uplift, and continental rifting, particularly along the East African Rift. We also searched for high-velocity structures (old, rigid blocks) that could influence how warm, buoyant material flows within the Earth's upper mantle. Our seismic tomography method allowed us to obtain a clear image of structure beneath parts of Africa where no or very few seismometers are located (such as the Sahara Desert and the Congo Basin). Our results provide indications for segmented secondary (or shallow) upwellings in the upper mantle beneath East Africa, as opposed to earlier models suggesting one large, continuous plume within the upper mantle. Our results also suggest that the one large, rigid, cratonic block previously imaged beneath the Congo region may instead be composed of smaller, distinct blocks. These results provide insight into the factors that control continental rifting along East Africa and provide new testable models that help us to understand the relationships between upper mantle flow, rifting, volcanism, surface uplift, and sedimentation records.
Conflict, Security and Develoment, Vol. 18, 6, pp. 463-492.
Africa, Sierra Leone
Abstract: Shortcomings in natural resource governance leading to economic mismanagement, political clientelism, underdevelopment and civil conflict, have caused an increase in global norms of ‘good governance’ of natural resource sectors. As a result, a growing number of global governance initiatives are targeting conflict-prone natural resource sectors. Whether these regulatory efforts stand a chance of being successful depends on their implementation in producer countries. As the transnational regulatory framework aimed at curbing the trade in conflict minerals is expanding, this article investigates the local translation of global norms of resource governance. Drawing on the ‘local-to-global’ research perspective developed in this special issue and norm diffusion theories, the article examines one of the most prominent cases of governance reform targeting conflict-affected natural resource sectors: The Sierra Leonean diamond market. Based on extensive field research, the article analyses the implementation of KPCS requirements on the national and subnational level of governance institutions. It evaluates the accomplishments, the challenges and the local adaption to and (formal and informal) interpretation of KPCS norms.
Abstract: A magnetotelluric survey in the Barotse Basin of western Zambia shows clear evidence for thinned lithosphere beneath an orogenic belt. The uppermost asthenosphere, at a depth of 60-70 km, is highly conductive, suggestive of the presence of a small amount of partial melt, despite the fact that there is no surface expression of volcanism in the region. Although the data support the presence of thicker cratonic lithosphere to the southeast of the basin, the lithospheric thickness is not well resolved and models show variations ranging from ~80 to 150 km in this region. Similarly variable is the conductivity of the mantle beneath the basin and immediately beneath the cratonic lithosphere to the southeast, although the conductivity is required to be elevated compared to normal lithospheric mantle. In a general sense, two classes of model are compatible with the magnetotelluric data: one with a moderately conductive mantle and one with more elevated conductivities. This latter class would be consistent with the impingement of a stringer of plume-fed melt beneath the cratonic lithosphere, with the melt migrating upslope to thermally erode lithosphere beneath the orogenic belt that is overlain by the Barotse Basin. Such processes are potentially important for intraplate volcanism and also for development or propagation of rifting as lithosphere is thinned and weakened by melt. Both models show clear evidence for thinning of the lithosphere beneath the orogenic belt, consistent with elevated heat flow data in the region.
Abstract: Recent findings of diamonds in ophiolitic peridotites and chromitites challenge our traditional notion of Earth mantle dynamics. Models attempting to explain these findings involve incorporation of diamonds into chromite near the mantle transition zone. However, the occurrence of metastable diamonds in this context has not been considered. Here, we report for the first time in situ microdiamonds in chromite from ophiolitic chromitite pods hosted in the Tehuitzingo serpentinite (southern Mexico). Here, diamonds occur as fracture-filling inclusions along with quartz, clinochlore, serpentine, and amorphous carbon, thus indicating a secondary origin during the shallow hydration of chromitite. Chromite chemical variations across the diamond-bearing healed fractures indicate formation during the retrograde evolution of chromitite at temperatures between 670 °C and 515 °C. During this stage, diamond precipitated metastably at low pressure from reduced C-O-H fluids that infiltrated from the host peridotite at the onset of serpentinization processes. Diamond was preserved as a result of fracture healing at the same temperature interval in which the chromite alteration began. These mechanisms of diamond formation challenge the idea that the occurrence of diamond in ophiolitic rocks constitutes an unequivocal indicator of ultrahigh-pressure conditions.
Abstract: Diamonds originate deep in the Earth's mantle since billions of years ago. Through their long history diamonds accumulate information about the Earth's evolution, and preserve it owing to their extreme chemical and mechanical stability. The surface of natural diamonds shows a variety of growth and dissolution features, which reflect the diversity of conditions in the mantle and in kimberlite magma, providing an important clue for understanding the deep regions of subcratonic mantle. However, such studies are hampered by an absence of a systematic approach for studying diamond surface features and morphology. This review integrates studies of natural diamonds with the results of diamond dissolution experiments to explore the origin of the most typical resorption features of diamonds and the information they provide. It uses detailed studies of over ~ 3500 diamonds from eight kimberlite bodies in the Northwest Territories in Canada and Orapa kimberlite cluster in Botswana, and the data from diamond dissolution experiments covering a pressure range of between 0.1?MPa - 7.5?GPa, temperature range of between 900?°C - 1750?°C, and over 12 log units of oxygen fugacity values. Examining the effects of these parameters on diamond resorption morphology shows that the shape and size of the etch pits depends on the temperature and H2O:CO2 ratio in the fluid, whereas pressure affects the efficiency of diamond crystal shape transformation from octahedral into rounded resorbed forms. The effect of pressure on the physical properties of the reacting fluid / melt controls the character of diamond etching. A comparison between the experimentally-induced and naturally occurring diamond resorption demonstrates a clear difference between the features developed in kimberlite magma and features inherited from the mantle source. Kimberlite-induced resorption on diamonds shows a strong correlation with the geology and emplacement mode of the hosting kimberlite unit. Low-relief surfaces develop on diamonds from pyroclastic kimberlites in all kimberlite classes, whereas surface features on diamonds from coherent kimberlites differ between kimberlite localities and often show corrosive character. Diamond resorption morphology can offer a robust method to better understand emplacement processes in different kimberlite localities, which are a matter of significant debate. The proposed here classification scheme for diamond resorption features is based on the features observable under a stereomicroscope. It helps differentiating resorption produced in the mantle source from that in the kimberlite magma and assigning diamond resorption to a particular mode of kimberlite emplacement, or a mantle metasomatic event.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 506, pp. 493-506.
Abstract: Most diamonds found in kimberlites show complex patterns of growth and dissolution (resorption) surface features. Populations of diamonds from within single kimberlite bodies commonly contain a large diversity of diamond surface forms, some of which are a result of dissolution in kimberlite magma and others are inherited from the mantle. Morphological studies of natural diamonds differentiated features produced during dissolution in kimberlite magma and during mantle metasomatism. The former features were experimentally reproduced at 1 3 GPa and used to infer the presence and composition of magmatic fluid in different kimberlites. However, the mantle-derived resorption features have not been reproduced experimentally and the composition and origins of their formative solvents are unknown. Here we report the results of diamond dissolution experiments conducted in a multi-anvil apparatus at 6 GPa and 1200 to 1500 °C in synthetic CaO MgO SiO2 CO2 H2O system. The experiments produced very different diamond resorption morphologies in COH fluid, in silicate-saturated fluid, and in silicate and carbonate melts. Dissolution in SiO2-free COH fluid developed rounded crystal forms with shallow negative trigons, striations and hillocks, which are commonly observed on natural diamonds and are similar in 6 GPa and in 1 3 GPa experiments. However, silicate-saturated fluid produced very different resorption features that are rarely observed on natural diamonds. This result confirms that natural, SiO2-poor fluid-induced resorption develops under the comparatively low-pressures of kimberlite ascent, because at mantle pressures the high content of SiO2 in fluids would produce features like those from the silicate-saturated experiments. Comparison of the experimental products from this study to natural diamond resorption features from the literature suggests that natural diamonds show no record of dissolution by fluids during mantle metasomatism. Diamond resorption morphologies developed in experiments with silicate carbonate melts closely resemble many of the mantle-derived resorption features of natural diamonds, whose diversity can result from variable SiO2 concentration in carbonatitic melts and temperature variation. The experimental results imply that metasomatism by fluids does not dissolve diamond, whereas metasomatism by melts is diamond-destructive. The repetitive growth-dissolution patterns of natural diamonds could be due to diamond growth from fluids in harzburgitic lithologies followed by its dissolution in partial melts.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, Fall 1p. Abstract p. 263-4
Abstract: The dream of growing synthetic diamonds existed for many centuries before it was achieved in the 1950s. The development of techniques to identify synthetic diamonds and enable their reliable separation from natural diamonds has not had the luxury of centuries to work with. Since the early reports on the characteristics of laboratory-grown stones, scientists have been working steadily to establish and improve the means of detection. For many years the De Beers Group has been developing equipment for rapidly screening and testing for potential synthetic and treated diamonds as part of a strategy aimed at maintaining consumer confidence in natural untreated diamonds. This work has been underpinned by extensive research into defects in natural and synthetic diamond, either conducted within De Beers’ own facilities or through financial and practical support of research in external institutions. Key to any detection technique for synthetic diamonds is a fundamental understanding of the differences between them and natural diamonds. This could take the form of differences in the atomic impurity centers or differences in the spatial distributions of these centers brought about by very significant distinctions in the growth environments. The former was used in the development of the Dia - mondSure instrument that, among other things, detects variance differences in the absorption spectra due to the presence or absence of the N3 feature. This absorption is from a nitrogen-related defect that is usually only produced in nitrogen-containing diamonds by extended periods at relatively high temperatures—that is, conditions generally experienced by natural diamonds. Growth-related differences in impurity distributions can be very accurately imaged using the DiamondView instrument. Short-wave ultraviolet (UV) light is used to excite luminescence from a very thin layer of diamond near the surface to give images free from the blurring encountered with more common longer-wavelength excitation sources. DiamondView has, since its launch, provided the benchmark for the detection of synthetic diamonds. A number of approaches involving absorption features have been developed, including the use of almost complete absorption in the ultraviolet region of the spectrum to indicate that a diamond is not synthetic. The UV absorption is produced by the A center (two adjacent nitrogen atoms) and is rarely encountered in as- grown synthetic diamonds. The main form of nitrogen in synthetic diamonds is a single substitutional nitrogen atom that absorbs in both the ultraviolet and visible regions to produce yellow color. The combination of UV absorption and no strong yellow color is therefore restricted to natural diamond. However, treatment of nitrogen-containing synthetic diamonds is capable of generating A centers, but generally does not produce a colorless stone. This effect accounts for the careful color ranges often applied to instruments relying on UV absorption for screening. This also highlights one of the limitations of absorption spectroscopy: When smaller stones are tested, the amount of absorption decreases and the technique becomes less reliable. In recent years we have seen a shift to smaller sizes (below 0.01 ct) in the synthetic diamonds being offered for sale to the jewelry market, and screening techniques have had to evolve to address this situation and the limitations of absorption-based approaches. Testing melee-sized diamonds, as well as introducing technical challenges around the measurement technique, has also led to the introduction of greater automation. In 2014 the De Beers Group introduced the first automated melee screening instrument (AMS1), which combined the measurement technique from Dia - mondSure with automated feeding and dispensing of stones in the range of 0.20 to 0.01 ct. While this instrument was well received and effectively addressed concerns around synthetic melee-sized stones in the trade at the time, there soon came calls for improvements— a faster instrument capable of measuring smaller stones, no restrictions on cut, and a lower referral rate for natural diamonds. These requirements proved impossible to meet with the limitations imposed by absorption measurements, and a new technique based on time-resolved spectroscopy was developed. This resulted in the AMS2 instrument, launched in March 2017. The AMS2 processes stones at a speed of one stone per second, 10 times faster than the AMS1. It measures round brilliants down to 0.003 ct (0.9 mm dia - meter) and can be used on other cuts for stones of 0.01 ct and above. The measurement technique itself has been incorporated into the SYNTHdetect (figure 1, left), an instrument launched in September 2017 that allows manual observation of the time-resolved emission. Besides providing the same testing capability as AMS2 (figure 1, right) for loose stones, various holders allow testing of mounted stones in a wide range of configurations. The benefit of this approach is that stones tested loose using AMS2 will generate a broadly consistent result when mounted on SYNTHdetect. Changes in growth processes for synthetic diamonds have also led to the gradual introduction of new characteristics. High - pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) synthetics have tended to be fairly consistent in their growth-related luminescence patterns, while significant variations in the features associated with chemical vapor deposition (CVD) synthetics have been observed. These continue to be well documented and have led to the gradual evolution of the DiamondView instrument and the way in which it is used. Post-growth treatment of synthetic diamonds can be applied for a number of reasons: improvement in the color, modification of the atomic defects to make the stones look more like a natural diamond, and removal of a characteristic that could be used to identify a synthetic diamond. The motivation for the latter two treatments can only be described as fraudulent. The challenge in developing detection instruments and techniques is to ensure that they are as robust as possible in the face of such challenges. Treatment techniques will rarely have any effect on the growth patterns associated with synthetic diamonds, and it is therefore very difficult to treat synthetics in a way that would make them undetectable using the DiamondView. Screening instruments tend to be based on a single technique, and it is important that the approach adopted not be vulnerable to simpler forms of treatment. This has been of primary concern to the De Beers Group in the development of our own screening instruments. It has also been necessary in certain cases to withhold detailed information about detection techniques where disclosure of this would lead to undermining of the detection technique itself. The De Beers Group continues to invest heavily in growth and treatment research in order to develop the next generation of instruments and techniques that will assist the trade in maintaining detection capability to support consumer confidence. The Group is uniquely placed in the industry to address these challenges due to its collaboration with Element Six (world leaders in synthesis of diamond for industrial and technical applications) and its indepth knowledge of the properties of natural diamonds with known provenance from its own mines.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 506, pp. 15-26.
Africa, South Africa
deposit - Newlands, Kimberley, Bultfontein
Abstract: MARID (Mica-Amphibole-Rutile-Ilmenite-Diopside) and PIC (Phlogopite-Ilmenite-Clinopyroxene) rocks occur as mantle-derived xenoliths in kimberlites and other alkaline volcanic rocks. Both rock types are alkaline and ultramafic in composition. The H2O and alkali metal enrichments in MARID and PIC rocks, reflected in abundant phlogopite, have been suggested to be caused by extreme mantle metasomatism. Radiogenic (Sr-Nd-Hf-Pb) isotope and trace element compositions for mineral separates from MARID (clinopyroxene and amphibole) and PIC (clinopyroxene only) samples derived from Cretaceous kimberlites (Kimberley) and orangeites (Newlands) from South Africa are used here to examine the source(s) of mantle metasomatism. PIC clinopyroxene is relatively homogeneous, with narrow ranges in initial isotopic composition (calculated to the emplacement age of the host Bultfontein kimberlite; 87Sr/86Sri: 0.7037-0.7041; eNdi: +3.0 to +3.6; eHfi: +2.2 to +2.5; 206Pb/204Pbi: 19.72-19.94) similar to kimberlite values. This is consistent with PIC rocks representing peridotites modified by intense metasomatic interaction with kimberlite melts. The MARID clinopyroxene and amphibole separates () studied here display broader ranges in isotope composition (e.g., 87Sr/86Sri: 0.705-0.711; eNdi: -11.0 to -1.0; eHfi: -17.9 to -8.5; 206Pb/204Pbi: 17.33-18.72) than observed in previous studies of MARID rocks. The Nd-Hf isotope compositions of kimberlite-derived MARID samples fall below the mantle array (?eHfi between -13.0 and -2.4), a feature reported widely for kimberlites and other alkaline magmas. We propose that such displacements in MARID minerals result from metasomatic alteration of an initial “enriched mantle” MARID composition (i.e., 87Sr/86Sri = 0.711; eNdi = -11.0; eHfi = -17.9; and 206Pb/204Pbi = 17.3) by the entraining kimberlite magma (87Sr/86Sr; eNd; eHf; 206Pb/204Pb). A model simulating the flow of kimberlite magma through a mantle column, thereby gradually equilibrating the isotopic and chemical compositions of the MARID wall-rock with those of the kimberlite magma, broadly reproduces the Sr-Nd-Hf-Pb isotope compositions of the MARID minerals analysed here. This model also suggests that assimilation of MARID components could be responsible for negative ?eHfi values in kimberlites. The isotopic composition of the inferred initial MARID end-member, with high 87Sr/86Sr and low eNd, eHf, and 206Pb/204Pb, resembles those found in orangeites, supporting previous inferences of a genetic link between MARID-veined mantle and orangeites. The metasomatic agent that produced such compositions in MARID rocks must be more extreme than the EM-II mantle component and may relate to recycled material that experienced long-term storage in the lithospheric mantle.
Abstract: Since the commercialisation of ground penetrating radar (GPR) in the 1970s, radar technology has been employed for niche applications in the mining industry. Although reliant on electrically resistive environments, GPR has gained acceptance in recent years as a standard exploration method for a number of deposit types, ranging from paleochannel delineation to iron ore mapping and kimberlite imaging. Numerous case studies have been published on GPR's applications to specific mineral exploration projects. Provided herein is an overview of commercialised GPR applications for surface mineral resource evaluations, covering examples of alluvial channels, nickel and bauxitic laterites, iron ore deposits, mineral sands, coal, kimberlite and massive sulphide examples.
Abstract: Dynamic topography is a well-established consequence of global geodynamic models of mantle convection with horizontal dimensions of >1000 km and amplitudes up to 2 km. Such physical models guide the interpretation of geological records on equal dimensions. Continent-scale geological maps therefore serve as reference frames of choice to visualize erosion/non-deposition as a proxy for long-wavelength, low-amplitude vertical surface motion. At a resolution of systems or series, such maps display conformable and unconformable time boundaries traceable over hundreds to thousands of kilometres. Unconformable contact surfaces define the shape and size of time gap (hiatus) in millions of years based on the duration of time represented by the missing systems or series. Hiatus for a single system or series base datum diminishes laterally to locations (anchor points) where it is conformable at the mapped resolution; it is highly dependent upon scale. A comparison of hiatus area between two successive system or series boundaries yields changes in location, shape, size and duration, indicative of the transient nature of vertical surface motion. As a single-step technique, it serves as a quantitative proxy for palaeotopography that can be calibrated using other geological data. The tool magnifies the need for geological mapping at the temporal resolution of stages, matching process rates. The method has no resolving power within conformable regions (basins) but connects around them. When applied to marine seismic sections that relate to rock record, not to time, biostratigraphic and radiometric data from deep wells are needed before hiatus areas - that relate to time - can be mapped.
Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, Vol. 46, pp. 77-89.
Russia, Europe, Alps
Abstract: The high-pressure silica polymorphs coesite and stishovite were synthesized under water-saturated conditions from a natural granitic composition doped with Li and B. Experiments were performed in a Multi-Anvil apparatus between 4 and 9.1 GPa and 900 and 950 °C, based on the conditions of a subducting continental crust as realistic for the ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic units Dora Maira and Kochetav massifs. Run products consisted of coesite/stishovite?+?kyanite?±?phengite?±?omphacite, and quench material. The synthesized silica polymorphs were successively analyzed by infrared spectroscopy, electron microprobe, and Secondary-Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). No hydrous defects were observed in coesite synthesized at 4 GPa and 900 °C, whereas coesite grown at higher pressures revealed a triplet of infrared absorptions bands at 3575, 3523, and 3459 cm-?1, two minor bands at 3535 and 3502 cm-?1, and a small band at 3300 cm-?1 that was only visible at 7.7 GPa. The total amount of Al was charge-balanced by H and the other monovalent cations. However, the band triplet could not be associated with AlOH defects, while the band doublet was inferred to BOH defects and the small band probably corresponded to interstitial H. Stishovite displayed one dominant band at 3116 cm-?1 with a shoulder at 3170 cm-?1, and a minor band at 2665 cm-?1, probably all associated with AlOH defects. BOH defects were not observed in stishovite, and LiOH defects were neither observed in coesite nor stishovite, probably because of preferentially partition of Li in other phases such as omphacite. The total amount of defect protons increased with pressure and with metal impurity concentrations. The general increase in OH defects in silica polymorphs with increasing pressure (this study) contrasted the negative pressure trend of OH in quartz observed previously from the same starting material, and revealed an incorporation minimum of OH in silica polymorphs around the quartz/coesite phase transition.
Abstract: Carbonate-rich intrusions in contact with felsic rocks theoretically should show the effects of interaction between the two rock types, due to their contrasting compositions. In reality, though, such interaction is rarely reported at kimberlite contacts. We present the first documented case of lithological and mineralogical zonation at the margin of a kimberlite, the Snap Lake dyke, in contact with the wall-rock granitoid. Our detailed petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical study shows that the fresh hypabyssal kimberlite consists of olivine macrocrysts and microcrysts, and phlogopite macrocrysts set in a groundmass of serpentinized monticellite, phlogopite, spinel, perovskite and apatite, with interstitial lizardite and calcite. This typical Group I kimberlite mineralogy does not match the bulk-rock composition, which resembles a Group II micaceous kimberlite. The mismatch between the chemical and mineralogical properties is ascribed to contamination by granitoid xenoliths and metasomatic reactions with the felsic country rocks, the Snap Lake kimberlite has extremely low bulk-Ca compared to other documented Group I kimberlites. Reaction with deuteric H2O and CO2 has led to Ca removal, serpentinization of olivine, replacement of calcite by dolomite, alteration of perovskite and decomposition of apatite. Adjacent to the contact with the host granitoid and in haloes around granitoid clasts, poikilitic phlogopite and lizardite are replaced by subsolidus phlogopite and a multiphase phyllosilicate composed of phlogopite+?lizardite+?chlorite+?talc. A modified isocon analysis accounts for felsic xenolith assimilation and isolates metasomatic changes. Enrichment of altered kimberlites in Si owes solely to xenolith incorporation. The metasomatic ingress of granitoid-derived Al for a limited distance inside the dyke was counteracted by a flux of Mg and Fe to the granitoid. Metasomatic changes in K and Ca tend to be positive in all lithologies of kimberlite and in the granitoids implying distal transport. The combination of xenolith digestion with metasomatic element transport is expected in hybrid zones where kimberlite magmas interact with felsic wall-rocks.
Abstract: A detailed electron microprobe study has been carried out on the compositional variations of mica and apatite from carbonatites, phoscorites and associated pyroxenites (and fenites) of the Loolekop deposit, Palabora Carbonatite Complex (South Africa). Mica in pyroxenites and fenites is Mg-rich biotite, whilst micas in carbonatites and phoscorites are compositionally diverse including phlogopite, Ba-rich phlogopite (up to 30% kinoshitalite component), IVAl-rich phlogopite (up to 30% eastonite component) and tetraferriphlogopite. The various types of phlogopites are interpreted as orthomagmatic phases, whereas tetraferriphlogopite precipitation was a late-magmatic to hydrothermal process that additionally introduced REE into the system. Orthomagmatic apatite is generally REE- and Sr-poor fluorapatite and does not show large compositional differences between rock types. Apatite associated with the late-stage tetraferriphlogopite mineralization reaches higher levels of REE (up to 4.9?wt%), Si (up to 1.5?wt% SiO2), Sr (up to 2.6?wt% SrO) and Na (up to 1.0?wt% Na2O). The compositional variation of micas and apatites, which is affiliated with distinct rock types, reflects the multi-stage evolution of the Loolekop deposit and provides detailed insight into the relationships of the carbonatite-phoscorite assemblage. The obtained data support the separation of phoscorite and carbonatite by immiscibility from a common parental magma, which may happen due to a decrease of temperature and/or pressure during the ascent of the magma. This results in a density contrast between the carbonatitic and phoscoritic components that will lead to descending phoscorite accumulations at the outer zones of the magma channel and a jet-like ascent (further promoted by its extremely low viscosity) of the carbonatite magma. The genetic model deduced here explains the peculiar association of carbonatites, phoscorites and silicate rocks in many alkaline complexes worldwide.
Abstract: As subducting plates reach the base of the upper mantle, some appear to flatten and stagnate, while others seemingly go through unimpeded. This variable resistance to slab sinking has been proposed to affect long-term thermal and chemical mantle circulation. A review of observational constraints and dynamic models highlights that neither the increase in viscosity between upper and lower mantle (likely by a factor 20-50) nor the coincident endothermic phase transition in the main mantle silicates (with a likely Clapeyron slope of -1 to -2 MPa/K) suffice to stagnate slabs. However, together the two provide enough resistance to temporarily stagnate subducting plates, if they subduct accompanied by significant trench retreat. Older, stronger plates are more capable of inducing trench retreat, explaining why backarc spreading and flat slabs tend to be associated with old-plate subduction. Slab viscosities that are ~2 orders of magnitude higher than background mantle (effective yield stresses of 100-300 MPa) lead to similar styles of deformation as those revealed by seismic tomography and slab earthquakes. None of the current transition-zone slabs seem to have stagnated there more than 60 m.y. Since modeled slab destabilization takes more than 100 m.y., lower-mantle entry is apparently usually triggered (e.g., by changes in plate buoyancy). Many of the complex morphologies of lower-mantle slabs can be the result of sinking and subsequent deformation of originally stagnated slabs, which can retain flat morphologies in the top of the lower mantle, fold as they sink deeper, and eventually form bulky shapes in the deep mantle.
Abstract: Intraplate continental magmatism represents a fundamental mechanism in Earth's magmatic, thermal, chemical and environmental evolution. It is a process intimately linked with crustal development, large-igneous provinces, metallogeny and major global environmental catastrophes. As a result, understanding the interactions of continental magmas through time is vital in understanding their effect on the planet. The interaction of mantle plumes with the lithosphere has been shown to significantly affect the location and form of continental magmatism, but only at modern mantle conditions. In this study, we perform numerical modelling for Late Archean (1600 °C), Paleoproterozoic (1550 °C), Meso-Neoproteroic (1500 °C) and Phanerozoic (1450 °C) mantle potential temperatures (Tp) to assess the time-space magmatic effects of ambient-mantle- and plume- lithosphere interaction over Earth's thermal history. Within these experiments, we impinge a mantle plume, with a time-appropriate Tp, onto a ‘step-like’ lithosphere, to evaluate the effect of craton margins on continental magmatism through time. The results of this modelling demonstrate that lithospheric architecture controls the volume and location of continental magmatism throughout Earth history, irrespective of ambient mantle or plume Tp. In all plume models, mantle starting plumes (diameter 300 km) impinge on the base of the lithosphere, and spread laterally over > 1600 km, flowing into the shallowest mantle, and producing the highest volume magmas. In ambient-mantle only models, Archean and Paleoproterozoic Tp values yield significant sub-lithospheric melt volumes, resulting in ‘passive’ geodynamic emplacement of basaltic magmatic provinces, whereas no melts are extracted at > 100 km for Meso-Neoproterozoic and Phanerozoic Tp. This indicates a major transition in non-subduction related continental magmatism from plume and ambient mantle to a plume-dominated source around the Mesoproterozoic. While the experiments presented here show the variation in plume-lithosphere interaction through time, the consistency in melt localisation indicates the lithosphere has been a first-order control on continental magmatism since its establishment in the Mesoarchean.
South African Journal of Geology, Vol. 121, pp. 271-286.
Abstract: Major, trace, radiogenic isotope and stable isotope data from lavas along the northeastern coast of Mozambique are described. The whole rock composition data demonstrate that the rocks are dominantly andesitic with compositions typical of calc-alkaline volcanic rocks from arc environments. SHRIMP U/Pb data from zircons indicate that the zircons are xenocrystic, having ages of between 500 Ma and 660 Ma, with the age of the lava constrained by Rb/Sr data at ~184 Ma. Strontium, Nd and Pb radiogenic isotope data support an interpretation of extensive mixing between a Karoo age basaltic magma (dolerite) from Antarctica and continental crust similar in composition to the Mozambique basement. Oxygen isotope data also imply a significant crustal contribution to the lavas. Possible tectonic settings for the lavas are at the margin of a plume or from a locally restricted compressional setting during Gondwana breakup processes.
Abstract: The thermoelastic parameters of Ca3Cr2Si3O12 uvarovite garnet were examined in situ at high pressure up to 13 GPa and high temperature up to 1100 K by synchrotron radiation energy-dispersive X-ray diffraction within a 6-6-type multi-anvil press apparatus. A least-square fitting of room T data to a third-order Birch-Murnaghan (BM3) EoS yielded K0 = 164.2 ± 0.7 GPa, V0 = 1735.9 ± 0.3 Å3 (K’0 fixed to 4.0). P-V-T data were fitted simultaneously by a modified HT-BM3 EoS, which gave the isothermal bulk modulus K0 = 163.6 ± 2.6 GPa, K’0 = 4.1 ± 0.5, its temperature derivative (?K0,T/?T)P = -0.014 ± 0.002 GPa K-1, and the thermal expansion coefficients a0 = 2.32 ± 0.13 ×10-5 K-1 and b0 = 2.13 ± 2.18 ×10-9 K-2 (K’0 fixed to 4.0). Our results showed that the Cr3+ enrichment in natural systems likely increases the density of ugrandite garnets, resulting in a substantial increase of mantle garnet densities in regions where Cr-rich spinel releases chromium through a metasomatic reaction.
Abstract: Earth’s status as the only life-sustaining planet is a result of the timing and delivery mechanism of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), sulfur (S), and hydrogen (H). On the basis of their isotopic signatures, terrestrial volatiles are thought to have derived from carbonaceous chondrites, while the isotopic compositions of nonvolatile major and trace elements suggest that enstatite chondrite-like materials are the primary building blocks of Earth. However, the C/N ratio of the bulk silicate Earth (BSE) is superchondritic, which rules out volatile delivery by a chondritic late veneer. In addition, if delivered during the main phase of Earth’s accretion, then, owing to the greater siderophile (metal loving) nature of C relative to N, core formation should have left behind a subchondritic C/N ratio in the BSE. Here, we present high pressure-temperature experiments to constrain the fate of mixed C-N-S volatiles during core-mantle segregation in the planetary embryo magma oceans and show that C becomes much less siderophile in N-bearing and S-rich alloys, while the siderophile character of N remains largely unaffected in the presence of S. Using the new data and inverse Monte Carlo simulations, we show that the impact of a Mars-sized planet, having minimal contributions from carbonaceous chondrite-like material and coinciding with the Moon-forming event, can be the source of major volatiles in the BSE.
Abstract: The new mineral species carmeltazite, ideally ZrAl2Ti4O11, was discovered in pockets of trapped melt interstitial to, or included in, corundum xenocrysts from the Cretaceous Mt Carmel volcanics of northern Israel, associated with corundum, tistarite, anorthite, osbornite, an unnamed REE (Rare Earth Element) phase, in a Ca-Mg-Al-Si-O glass. In reflected light, carmeltazite is weakly to moderately bireflectant and weakly pleochroic from dark brown to dark green. Internal reflections are absent. Under crossed polars, the mineral is anisotropic, without characteristic rotation tints. Reflectance values for the four COM wavelengths (Rmin, Rmax (%) (? in nm)) are: 21.8, 22.9 (471.1); 21.0, 21.6 (548.3), 19.9, 20.7 (586.6); and 18.5, 19.8 (652.3). Electron microprobe analysis (average of eight spot analyses) gave, on the basis of 11 oxygen atoms per formula unit and assuming all Ti and Sc as trivalent, the chemical formula (Ti3+3.60Al1.89Zr1.04Mg0.24Si0.13Sc0.06Ca0.05Y0.02Hf0.01)S=7.04O11. The simplified formula is ZrAl2Ti4O11, which requires ZrO2 24.03, Al2O3 19.88, and Ti2O3 56.09, totaling 100.00 wt %. The main diffraction lines, corresponding to multiple hkl indices, are (d in Å (relative visual intensity)): 5.04 (65), 4.09 (60), 2.961 (100), 2.885 (40), and 2.047 (60). The crystal structure study revealed carmeltazite to be orthorhombic, space group Pnma, with unit-cell parameters a = 14.0951 (9), b = 5.8123 (4), c = 10.0848 (7) Å, V = 826.2 (1) Å3, and Z = 4. The crystal structure was refined to a final R1 = 0.0216 for 1165 observed reflections with Fo > 4s(Fo). Carmeltazite exhibits a structural arrangement similar to that observed in a defective spinel structure. The name carmeltazite derives from Mt Carmel (“CARMEL”) and from the dominant metals present in the mineral, i.e., Titanium, Aluminum and Zirconium (“TAZ”). The mineral and its name have been approved by the IMA Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (2018-103).
Abstract: Hibonite (CaAl12O19) is a constituent of some refractory calcium-aluminum inclusions (CAIs) in carbonaceous meteorites, commonly accompanied by grossite (CaAl4O7) and spinel. These phases are usually interpreted as having condensed, or crystallized from silicate melts, early in the evolution of the solar nebula. Both Ca-Al oxides are commonly found on Earth, but as products of high-temperature metamorphism of pelitic carbonate rocks. We report here a unique occurrence of magmatic hibonitegrossite-spinel assemblages, crystallized from Ca-Al-rich silicate melts under conditions [high-temperature, very low oxygen fugacity (fO2)] comparable to those of their meteoritic counterparts. Ejecta from Cretaceous pyroclastic deposits on Mt Carmel, N. Israel, include aggregates of hopper/skeletal Ti-rich corundum, which have trapped melts that crystallized at fO2 extending from 7 log units below the iron-wustite buffer (?IW = -7; SiC, Ti2O3, Fe-Ti silicide melts) to ?IW = -9 (native V, TiC, and TiN). The assemblage hibonite + grossite + spinel + TiN first crystallized late in the evolution of the melt pockets; this hibonite contains percentage levels of Zr, Ti, and REE that reflect the concentration of incompatible elements in the residual melts as corundum continued to crystallize. A still later stage appears to be represented by coarse-grained (centimeter-size crystals) ejecta that show the crystallization sequence: corundum + Liq ? (low-REE) hibonite ? grossite + spinel ± krotite ? Ca4Al6F2O12 + fluorite. V0 appears as spheroidal droplets, with balls up to millimeter size and spectacular dendritic intergrowths, included in hibonite, grossite, and spinel. Texturally late V0 averages 12 wt% Al and 2 wt% Mn. Spinels contain 10-16 wt% V in V0-free samples, and <0.5 wt% V in samples with abundant V 0. Ongoing paragenetic studies suggest that the fO2 evolution of the Mt Carmel magmatic system reflects the interaction between OIB-type mafic magmas and mantle-derived CH4+H2 fluids near the crust-mantle boundary. Temperatures estimated by comparison with 1 atm phase-equilibrium studies range from ca. 1500 °C down to 1200-1150 °C. When fO2 reached ca. ?IW = -7, the immiscible segregation of Fe,Ti-silicide melts and the crystallization of SiC and TiC effectively desilicated the magma, leading to supersaturation in Al2O3 and the rapid crystallization of corundum, preceding the development of the hibonite-bearing assemblages. Reports of Ti-rich corundum and SiC from other areas of explosive volcanism suggest that these phenomena may be more widespread than presently realized, and the hibonite-grossite assemblage may serve as another indicator to track such activity. This is the first reported terrestrial occurrence of krotite (CaAl2O4), and of at least two unknown Zr-Ti oxides.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 277-8.
Abstract: Most colored gemstones form near the earth’s surface in a wide range of different environments; for example, they can crystallize from igneous magmas or hydrothermal solutions, or via the recrystallization of preexisting minerals during metamorphism. The specific environment determines the types of gem minerals that form, as well as their physical and chemical properties. Field studies of colored gem deposits provide the basis for the scientific understanding of natural gemstone formation and, in turn, the basis for criteria for gem identification. Gem deposits are of scientific interest because they represent unusual geologic and geochemical conditions; for example, emeralds are rare because they require beryllium and chromium (and/or vanadium), which generally travel in very different geochemical circles. Scientists study gem deposits by collecting rock and mineral samples in the field, mapping geological formations and structures, documenting the environment in which the gems occur, and examining the collected samples back in the laboratory. Such examination yields information on the chemical, temperature, and pressure conditions of gem formation, the associated minerals (often found as distinctive inclusions in the gems themselves), and the age of the deposit. Determining the origin of a gem deposit usually requires a small amount of very specific data. The results are published in publicly available peerreviewed publications. Such field studies provide clues that can be used to explore for similar types of gem deposits. Challenges include the remoteness of locations that have not been previously studied by geologists, the small size of deposits that precludes study by large mining companies, and the rarity of the gems themselves. There is much left to do in gem deposit research. For example, despite its growing popularity as a gemstone, there are few studies of gem spinel deposits, especially cobalt-blue spinel (figure 1), for which only one deposit has been studied. To date we know little about what factors control spinel genesis and color. Recently there has been another reason to study gem deposits: gem fingerprinting, in which modern methods are used to obtain characteristic information. This information is then compared to information obtained from stones from known localities to estimate where a stone with no locality information originated. Modern fingerprinting methods analyze the chemistry of the stones (using electron probe microanalysis, isotopic analysis, laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry) and/or their solid and fluid inclusions. We know that the chemistry of the stones must reflect the chemistry of the host rock environment; for example, the chromophore in emerald from Lened in Canada is vanadium, and not the typical chromium, because there are no chromium-bearing rocks in the area. With respect to solid inclusions, rubies from Aappaluttoq in Greenland have phlogopite mica inclusions because they recrystallized in a rock at pressures and temperatures where phlogopite is the stable potassium-bearing phase. An example of diagnostic fluid inclusions is the three-phase variety seen in Colombian emeralds (and now also observed elsewhere). New is the use of ICP-MS on fluid inclusions to define part of the fluid assemblage from which the stones were formed; this tells us about the environment of formation, but also may assist in defining a fingerprint for the stone. Where scientific studies require only very specific data, the more data available from stones of known origin, and the more representative those stones are of the full range of compositions and inclusions found in a specific deposit or country of origin, the more accurate the estimation should be. Unfortunately, these data are generally not made public, so every lab doing fingerprinting is essentially working independently, and there is no way to know how accurate their data and the resulting country- or deposit-oforigin estimates are. We also note that a serious problem in origin determination is that some of the best gemstones will be lacking diagnostic inclusions altogether, which then restricts the tools and observations can be used.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 306-7.
Abstract: Nitrogen is one of the most common impurities in diamond, and its aggregation styles have been used as criteria for diamond classification. Pure type IaB diamonds (with 100% nitrogen in B aggregation) are rather rare among natural diamonds. The occurrence of the B center is generally associated with high temperature and a long residence time of the host diamond, which would potentially provide information on the earth’s deep interior. Seawater circulation is the unique process that shapes the surface of our planet and potentially has a profound effect on its interior due to slab subduction. In about 50 type IaB diamonds with detectable micro-inclusions submitted to GIA for screening, we found that more than 70% of them contained a typical mineral assemblage from the sublithosphere. Jeffbenite (TAPP), majorite garnet, enstatite, and ferropericlase have been observed, which could be retrograde products of former bridgmanite. CaSiO3-walstromite with larnite and titanite is the dominant phase present in approximately 40% of all diamond samples. Direct evidence from oxygen isotope ratios measured by secondary ion mass spectrometry, or SIMS, (d18OVSMOWin the range +10.7 to +12.5‰) of CaSiO3-walstromite with coexisting larnite and titanite that retrograde from CaSiO3-perovskite suggest that hydrothermally altered oceanic basalt can subduct to depths of >410 km in the transition zone. Incorporation of materials from subducted altered oceanic crust into the deep mantle produced diamond inclusions that have both lower mantle and subduction signatures. Ca(Si,Al)O3-perovskite was observed with a high concentration of rare earth elements (>5 wt.%) that could be enriched under P-Tconditions in the lower mantle. Evidence from ringwoodite with a hydroxide bond, coexisting tuite and apatite, precipitates of an NH3phase, and cohenite with trace amounts of Cl imply that the subducted brines can potentially introduce hydrous fluid to the bottom of the transition zone. In the diamonds with subducted materials, the increasing carbon isotope ratio from the core to the rim region detected by SIMS (d13C from -5.5‰ to -4‰) suggests that an oxidized carbonate-dominated fluid was associated with recycling of the subducted hydrous material. The deep subduction played an important role in balancing redox exchange with the reduced lower mantle indicated by precipitated iron nanoparticles and coexisting hydrocarbons and carbonate phases.
Abstract: During flat subduction, material is scraped off the base of the continental mantle lithosphere, building a migrating keel. This testable mechanism for flat subduction recreates features of the Laramide orogeny.
Abstract: Petrological, geochemical, and zircon U-Pb geochronological features of Archean ultramafic-mafic complexes formed in subduction-related settings provide significant insights into mantle source and geodynamic processes associated with subduction-accretion-collision events in the early Earth. Here, we investigate a suite of serpentinized dunite, dunite, pyroxenite, and clinopyroxenite from an ultramafic complex along the collisional suture between the Western Dharwar Craton (WDC) and the Central Dharwar Craton (CDC) in southern India. We present petrology, mineral chemistry, zircon U-Pb geochronology, rare earth element (REE), Lu-Hf isotopes, and whole-rock geochemistry including major, trace element, and platinum-group element (PGE) data with a view to investigate the magmatic and metasomatic processes in the subduction zone. Mineral chemistry data from chromite associated with the serpentinised ultramafic rocks show distinct characteristics of arc-related melt. Zircon U-Pb data from the ultramafic suite define different age populations, with the oldest ages at 2.9 Ga, and the dominant age population showing a range of 2.8-2.6 Ga. The early Paleoproterozoic (ca. 2.4 Ga) metamorphic age is considered to mark the timing of collision of the two WDC and CDC. Zircon REE patterns suggest the involvement continental crust components in the magma source. Zircon Lu-Hf analysis yields both positive and negative eHf(t) values from -3.9 to 1.5 with Hf-depleted model ages (TDM) of 3,041-3,366 Ma for serpentinised dunite and -0.2-2.0 and 2,833-2,995 Ma for pyroxenite, suggesting that the magma was sourced from depleted mantle and was contaminated with the ancient continental crust. Geochemical data show low MgO/SiO2 values and elevated Al2O3/TiO2 ratios, implying subduction-related setting. The serpentinized dunites and dunites show mild LREE enrichment over HREE, with relatively higher abundance of LILE (Ba, Sr) and depletion in HFSE (Nb, Zr), suggesting fluid-rock interaction, melt impregnation, and refertilization processes. The PGE data suggest olivine, chromite, and sulphide fractionations associated with subduction processes. Our study on the Mesoarchean to Neoarchean ultramafic complex provides important insights to reconstruct the history of the crust-mantle interaction in an Archean suprasubduction zone mantle wedge.
University of Alberta, Msc thesis https://doi.org /10.7939/R3NC5SV24 available
deposit - Darby
Abstract: The Rae Craton, northern Canada, contains several diamondiferous kimberlite fields that have been a focus of episodic diamond exploration. Relatively little is known about the deep mantle lithosphere underpinning the architecturally complex crust. We present bulk and mineral element and isotopic compositional data for peridotite and pyroxenite/eclogite xenoliths from the Darby kimberlites representing fragments of the west central Rae lithosphere, as well as the first kimberlite eruption age of 542.2±2.6 Ma (2 s; phlogopite Rb-Sr isochron). Darby peridotites have low bulk Al2O3 contents with highly-depleted olivine (median Mg#?=?92.5) characteristic of cratonic lithosphere globally, but more depleted than peridotites from other Rae Craton localities. One peridotite xenolith contains a harzburgitic G10D garnet. Re-Os TRD model ages appear to be the oldest measured to date from peridotites of the Rae lithosphere, having a mode in the early Neoarchean and ranging to the Paleoproterozoic (~2.3 Ga). Concentrate clinopyroxene defines a well constrained mantle geotherm indicating the existence of a ~200 km thick lithosphere at the time of kimberlite eruption, greater than the lithospheric thickness beneath Somerset Island and in good agreement with modern seismic constraints. Nickel-in-garnet thermometry in grains that record temperatures below the mantle adiabat, indicates mantle sampling dominantly in the graphite stability field whereas Al-in-olivine thermometry shows a distinct mantle sampling mode in the diamond stability field. Abundant pyroxenite and eclogite xenoliths are recovered across the Darby property and low-Cr garnet (Cr2O3?1 wt%) is the most abundant garnet type recovered in kimberlite concentrate. Based on thermometry, these rocks range in likely depths of equilibration, from the lower crust into the shallow lithospheric mantle. They give variable Os model ages, with the oldest ages in the Mesoarchean. The abundance of this mafic material reflects derivation from a large mafic body possibly evident in the layered structure of the Rae Craton mantle root defined by new seismic studies.
Abstract: The fraction of radioactive heat production in Earth’s mantle to convective heat loss has decreased with the aging of Earth, as more of its nuclear fuel became spent and more of its heat was lost to space. Earth was therefore hotter in its past, but there is no consensus as to how much higher the mantle’s temperature was in early Earth compared to the present. This is an important problem to understand because it is expected to have imposed secular changes in the formation of oceanic lithosphere at ridges and its cycling at subduction zones (Herzberg and Rudnick, 2012; Foley, 2018). In a hotter early Earth, the ambient mantle melted more extensively, to make thicker basaltic oceanic crust and residual mantle peridotite, the latter of which was depleted in chemical elements that entered the magmas. Sometime later, the basaltic oceanic crust became hydrated by seawater, and it in turn melted to make silicic continental crust. As discussed in more detail below, this transformation led to the juxtaposition of continental crust on top of oceanic lithospheric mantle (Herzberg and Rudnick, 2012). The original “oceanic mantle lithosphere” is now called "continental mantle lithosphere" because it is located below continental crust in cratons. This hypothesis is explored by Servali and Korenaga (2018, p. 1047 in this issue of Geology), and is the reason why they entitle their paper an "oceanic origin of continental mantle lithosphere".
Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, Vol. 172, pp. 56-65.
deposit - Bayan Obo
Abstract: In the Bayan Obo REE deposit in Inner Mongolia, Northern China, three major orebodies are hosted in dolomite marble of the Bayan Obo Group. There are carbonatite dikes in the ore district. Apatite is a common accessary mineral in the ore-hosting dolomite marble (DM apatite) and in carbonatite dikes (IC apatite). These two types of apatite are both fluorapatite, and have low SiO2, uniform P2O5, and variable CaO contents. Total REY (REEs?+?Y) contents are correlated with Na2O contents, indicating that REY of both types of apatite enter lattice via the substitution reaction: Na+ + (REY)3+ = 2Ca2+. These features, combined with high REY (6230-18,906?ppm) and Sr (9653-17,200?ppm) contents of DM apatite, indicate that DM apatite likely had a carbonatite origin. Some DM apatite grains are partially replaced by albite and quartz. Fluid inclusions crosscutting both apatite and albite or quartz indicate that they formed later than quartz and albite replacement. The back-scattered electron images show that DM apatite grains contain many micro-pores (fluid inclusions), and monazite inclusions formed from the fluid inclusions. However, no monazite inclusions are observed within quartz and albite, excluding the possibility that the monazite inclusions were precipitated directly from the fluids. The monazite inclusions were therefore formed during fluid-induced dissolution-reprecipitation processes, where DM apatite served as the source of LREEs. This also explains the depletion of some LREEs in DM apatite. The formation of monazite inclusions in apatite requires fluids with relatively low Na and Si concentrations, different from the fluids responsible for quartz and albite replacement. DM apatite was affected by two stages of fluid activities: the first stage of metasomatism by alkaline fluids that were likely derived from carbonatite magmas when the deposit first formed (represented by quartz and albite replacement), followed by a second stage of modification that caused LREEs depletion and the formation of new REE minerals. Thus, the Bayan Obo REE ore deposit was modified by a significant thermal event after the formation, which provided negligible or only small amounts of REEs.
Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 46, 2, pp. 678-688.
Abstract: Low-d18O magma has received great attention and it has profound implications on geological and climate evolution. Neoproterozoic era is a unique period to breed low-d18O magmas and snowball Earth. This manuscript first report Neoproterozoic moderately 18O-depleted zircons from the central part of the Cathaysia Block in South China, and it builds a four end-member Hf-O isotopic mixing model to explain the global low-d18O magmas at Neoproterozoic era. Our compilation of low-d18O zircon data and our new data confirms that globally Neoproterozoic 18O-depleted magmatic activities generally began after 800 Ma and reached a peak at 780-760 Ma. This provides new information on the rifting of Rodinia supercontinent and suggests close connections between northwest India, Madagascar, and South China in the Rodinia supercontinent. This manuscript deals with the hot-debated topics on oxygen isotopes and supercontinent cycle. We believe that this manuscript will attract international readers from a wide scope of geosciences.
Abstract: n recent years, nominal type IaAB and IIa diamonds with transient 2800 cm-1 FTIR absorption peaks arising from uncompensated boron produced under UV radiation have been reported (J. Li et al., A diamond with a transient 2804 cm-1 absorption peak, Journal of Gemmology, Vol. 35, 2016, pp. 248-252; Winter 2016 Lab Notes, pp. 412-413). The National Center of Supervision and Inspection on Quality of Gold and Silver Products recently examined a type IaB diamond that exhibited instantaneous 2803 cm-1 FTIR absorption shortly after exposure to an ultra-short-wave (< 230 nm) UV source.
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 224, pp. 132-153.
deposit - Obnazhennaya
Abstract: The Obnazhennaya kimberlite in the NE Siberian craton hosts a most unusual cratonic xenolith suite, with common rocks rich in pyroxenes and garnet, and no sheared peridotites. We report petrographic and chemical data for whole rocks (WR) and minerals of 20 spinel and garnet peridotites from Obnazhennaya with Re-depletion Os isotope ages of 1.8-2.9?Ga (Ionov et al., 2015a) as well as 2 pyroxenites. The garnet-bearing rocks equilibrated at 1.6-2.8?GPa and 710-1050?°C. Some xenoliths contain vermicular spinel-pyroxene aggregates with REE patterns in clinopyroxene mimicking those of garnet. The peridotites show significant scatter of Mg# (0.888-0.924), Cr2O3 (0.2-1.4?wt.%) and high NiO (0.3-0.4?wt.%). None are pristine melting residues. Low-CaO-Al2O3 (=0.9?wt.%) dunites and harzburgites are melt-channel materials. Peridotites with low to moderate Al2O3 (0.4-1.8?wt.%) usually have CaO?>?Al2O3, and some have pockets of calcite texturally equilibrated with olivine and garnet. Such carbonates, exceptional in mantle xenoliths and reported here for the first time for the Siberian mantle, provide direct evidence for modal makeover and Ca and LREE enrichments by ephemeral carbonate-rich melts. Peridotites rich in CaO and Al2O3 (2.7-8.0?wt.%) formed by reaction with silicate melts. We infer that the mantle lithosphere beneath Obnazhennaya, initially formed in the Mesoarchean, has been profoundly modified. Pervasive inter-granular percolation of highly mobile and reactive carbonate-rich liquids may have reduced the strength of the mantle lithosphere leading the way for reworking by silicate melts. The latest events before the kimberlite eruption were the formation of the carbonate-phlogopite pockets, fine-grained pyroxenite veins and spinel-pyroxene symplectites. The reworked lithospheric sections are preserved at Obnazhennaya, but similar processes could erode lithospheric roots in the SE Siberian craton (Tok) and the North China craton, where ancient melting residues and reworked garnet-bearing peridotites are absent. The modal, chemical and Os-isotope compositions of the Obnazhennaya xenoliths produced by reaction of refractory peridotites with melts are very particular (high Ca/Al, no Mg#-Al correlations, highly variable Cr, low 187Os/188Os, continuous modal range from olivine-rich to low-olivine peridotites, wehrlites and websterites) and distinct from those of fertile lherzolites in off-craton xenoliths and peridotite massifs. These features argue against the concept of ‘refertilization’ of cratonic and other refractory peridotites by mantle-derived melts as a major mechanism to form fertile to moderately depleted lherzolites in continental lithosphere. The Obnazhennaya xenoliths represent a natural rock series produced by ‘refertilization’, but include no rocks equivalent in modal, major and trace element to the fertile lherzolites. This study shows that ‘refertilization’ yields broad, continuous ranges of modal and chemical compositions with common wehrlites and websterites that are rare among off-craton xenoliths.
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 248, pp. 1-13.
Abstract: Ca isotopes can be strongly fractionated at the Earth’s surface and thus may be tracers of subducted carbonates and other Ca-rich surface materials in mantle rocks, magmas and fluids. However, the d44/40Ca range in the mantle and the scope of intra-mantle isotope fractionation are poorly constrained. We report Ca isotope analyses for 22 mantle xenoliths: four basalt-hosted refractory peridotites from Tariat in Mongolia and 18 samples from the Obnazhennaya (Obn) kimberlite on the NE Siberian craton. Obn peridotites are Paleoproterozoic to Archean melting residues metasomatised by carbonate-rich and/or silicate melts including unique xenoliths that contain texturally equilibrated carbonates. d44/40Ca in 15 Obn xenoliths shows limited variation (0.74-0.97‰) that overlaps the value (0.94?±?0.05‰) inferred for the bulk silicate Earth from data on fertile lherzolites, but is lower than d44/40Ca for non-metasomatised refractory peridotites from Mongolia (1.10?±?0.03‰). Bulk d44/40Ca in four Obn peridotites containing metasomatic carbonates ranges from 0.81?±?0.08‰ to 0.83?±?0.06‰, with similar values in acid-leachates and leaching residues, indicating isotopic equilibration of the carbonates with host rocks. We infer that (a) metasomatism tends to decrease d44/40Ca values of the mantle, but its effects are usually limited (=0.3‰); (b) Ca isotopes cannot distinguish "carbonatite" and "silicate" types of mantle metasomatism. The lowest d44/40Ca value (0.56‰) was obtained for a phlogopite-bearing Obn peridotite with a very high Ca/Al of 8 suggesting that the greatest metasomatism-induced Ca isotope shifts may be seen in rocks initially low in Ca that experienced significant Ca input leading to high Ca/Al. Two Obn peridotites, a dunite (melt channel material) and a veined spinel wehrlite, have high d44/40Ca values (1.22‰ and 1.38‰), which may be due to isotope fractionation by diffusion during silicate melt intrusion and percolation in the host mantle. Overall, we find no evidence that recycling of crustal carbonates may greatly affect Ca isotope values in the global mantle or on a regional scale.
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 248, pp. 1-13.
Abstract: Ca isotopes can be strongly fractionated at the Earth’s surface and thus may be tracers of subducted carbonates and other Ca-rich surface materials in mantle rocks, magmas and fluids. However, the d44/40Ca range in the mantle and the scope of intra-mantle isotope fractionation are poorly constrained. We report Ca isotope analyses for 22 mantle xenoliths: four basalt-hosted refractory peridotites from Tariat in Mongolia and 18 samples from the Obnazhennaya (Obn) kimberlite on the NE Siberian craton. Obn peridotites are Paleoproterozoic to Archean melting residues metasomatised by carbonate-rich and/or silicate melts including unique xenoliths that contain texturally equilibrated carbonates. d44/40Ca in 15 Obn xenoliths shows limited variation (0.74-0.97‰) that overlaps the value (0.94?±?0.05‰) inferred for the bulk silicate Earth from data on fertile lherzolites, but is lower than d44/40Ca for non-metasomatised refractory peridotites from Mongolia (1.10?±?0.03‰). Bulk d44/40Ca in four Obn peridotites containing metasomatic carbonates ranges from 0.81?±?0.08‰ to 0.83?±?0.06‰, with similar values in acid-leachates and leaching residues, indicating isotopic equilibration of the carbonates with host rocks. We infer that (a) metasomatism tends to decrease d44/40Ca values of the mantle, but its effects are usually limited (=0.3‰); (b) Ca isotopes cannot distinguish "carbonatite" and "silicate" types of mantle metasomatism. The lowest d44/40Ca value (0.56‰) was obtained for a phlogopite-bearing Obn peridotite with a very high Ca/Al of 8 suggesting that the greatest metasomatism-induced Ca isotope shifts may be seen in rocks initially low in Ca that experienced significant Ca input leading to high Ca/Al. Two Obn peridotites, a dunite (melt channel material) and a veined spinel wehrlite, have high d44/40Ca values (1.22‰ and 1.38‰), which may be due to isotope fractionation by diffusion during silicate melt intrusion and percolation in the host mantle. Overall, we find no evidence that recycling of crustal carbonates may greatly affect Ca isotope values in the global mantle or on a regional scale.
Abstract: The Siberian Craton was assembled in a Paleoproterozoic episode at about 1.88?Ga by the collision of older blocks, followed at about 1.86?Ga by post-collisional felsic magmatism. We have found a set of extremely fresh mica-bearing lamprophyre-looking rocks within the Sharyzhalgay metamorphic complex of the south-western Siberian Craton. Zircon from these rocks yields a UPb TIMS age of 1864.7?±?1.8?Ma, which coincides perfectly with the peak of the post-collisional granite ages and postdates by ~15?Ma the peak of ages obtained for metamorphism. The same ages were reported earlier for a mafic dyke with ocean island basalt (OIB) geochemical signatures and a Pt-bearing mafic-ultramafic intrusion found in the same region. Mineralogy, major and trace element geochemistry and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopes show that the studied rocks (1) have shoshonitic affinity, (2) are hybrid rocks with mineral assemblages which could not be in equilibrium, (3) where derived by recycling of an Archean crustal source and (4) resemble post-collision Tibetan shoshonitic series. The genesis of these rocks is considered to be due to melting of crustal lithologies and metasomatized lithospheric mantle within a subducted slab. Some of the resulting melts ascended through the lithospheric column and fractionated to low-Mg absarokites, whereas other melts were contaminated by orthopyroxenitic mantle material and attained unusual high-Mg mafic compositions. According to our model, the post-collisional magmatism (shoshonite- and OIB-type) occurred due to upwelling of hot asthenosphere through a slab window, when the active collision ceased as a result of the slab break off and loss of the slab pull force. Overall, our study shows that in the Paleoproterozoic shoshonitic melts were emplaced within a similar tectonic setting as seen today in modern orogenic systems.
Abstract: The formation, storage and chemical differentiation of magma in the Earth’s crust is of fundamental importance in igneous geology and volcanology. Recent data are challenging the high-melt-fraction ‘magma chamber’ paradigm that has underpinned models of crustal magmatism for over a century, suggesting instead that magma is normally stored in low-melt-fraction "mush reservoirs". A mush reservoir comprises a porous and permeable framework of closely packed crystals with melt present in the pore space1,10. However, many common features of crustal magmatism have not yet been explained by either the ‘chamber’ or ‘mush reservoir’ concepts. Here we show that reactive melt flow is a critical, but hitherto neglected, process in crustal mush reservoirs, caused by buoyant melt percolating upwards through, and reacting with, the crystals. Reactive melt flow in mush reservoirs produces the low-crystallinity, chemically differentiated (silicic) magmas that ascend to form shallower intrusions or erupt to the surface. These magmas can host much older crystals, stored at low and even sub-solidus temperatures, consistent with crystal chemistry data. Changes in local bulk composition caused by reactive melt flow, rather than large increases in temperature, produce the rapid increase in melt fraction that remobilizes these cool- or cold-stored crystals. Reactive flow can also produce bimodality in magma compositions sourced from mid- to lower-crustal reservoirs. Trace-element profiles generated by reactive flow are similar to those observed in a well studied reservoir now exposed at the surface. We propose that magma storage and differentiation primarily occurs by reactive melt flow in long-lived mush reservoirs, rather than by the commonly invoked process of fractional crystallization in magma chambers.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 505, pp. 65-75.
Abstract: It is estimated that around three quarters of Earth's first generation continental crust had been produced by the end of the Archaean Eon, 2.5 billion years ago. This ancient continental crust is mostly composed of variably deformed and metamorphosed magmatic rocks of the tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) suite that formed by partial melting of hydrated mafic rocks. However, the geodynamic regime under which TTG magmas formed is a matter of ongoing debate. Using a filtered global geochemical dataset of 563 samples with ages ranging from the Eoarchaean to Neoarchaean (4.0-2.5 Ga), we interrogate the bulk rock major oxide and trace element composition of TTGs to assess evidence for secular change. Despite a high degree of scatter in the data, the concentrations or ratios of several key major oxides and trace elements show statistically significant trends that indicate maxima, minima and/or transitions in the interval 3.3-3.0 Ga. Importantly, a change point analysis of K2O/Na2O, Sr/Y and LaN/YbN demonstrates a statistically significant (>99% confidence) change during this 300 Ma period. These shifts may be linked to a fundamental change in geodynamic regime around the peak in upper mantle temperatures from one dominated by non-uniformitarian, deformable stagnant lid processes to another dominated by the emergence of global mobile lid or plate tectonic processes by the end of the Archaean. A notable change is also evident at 2.8-2.7 Ga that coincides with a major jump in the rate of survival of metamorphic rocks with contrasting thermal gradients, which may relate to the emergence of more potassic continental arc magmas and an increased preservation potential during collisional orogenesis. In many cases, the chemical composition of TTGs shows an increasing spread through the Archaean, reflecting the irreversible differentiation of the lithosphere.
Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, 24, pp. 13,298-13,305.
Abstract: A subduction zone's mantle wedge can have a complex pattern of seismic anisotropy where the fast direction often rotates from trench-parallel close to the trench to trench-normal in the backarc. This pattern can be interpreted as induced by either 3-D trench-parallel flow or by the presence of water close to the trench. Almost all models so far favored the trench-parallel flow hypothesis, usually based on indirect or complementary indicators such as the evolution of geochemical signatures of volcanoes along the arc. Here we examine a seismic anisotropy observational signature that can be used to discriminate between the two explanations. The concept is defined using an interdisciplinary approach linking a direct modeling of the flow in the subduction wedge and a computation of seismic wave propagation in anisotropic media. We define a unique water-induced signature that is the presence of a “morph zone” characterized by a weak anisotropy and a decrease of seismic velocities. We apply the model to the Lau Basin where we find this predicted signature, demonstrating for the first time that water rather than trench-parallel flow is responsible for the observed anisotropy pattern there.
Abstract: A series of polycrystalline diamond grains were found within the Valizhgen Peninsula in Koryakia, northern Kamchatka, Russia. A grain from the Aynyn River area is studied in detail with TEM. Diamond crystallites, 2-40 µm in size are twinned and have high dislocation density. They are cemented with tilleyite Ca5(Si2O7)(CO3)2, SiC, Fe-Ni-Mn-Cr silicides, native silicon, graphite, calcite, and amorphous material. Among SiC grains, three polymorphs were discriminated: hexagonal 4H and 6H and cubic C3 (ß-SiC). Silicides have variable stoichiometry with (Fe,Ni,Mn,Cr)/Si = 0.505-1.925. Native silicon is an open-framework allotrope of silicon S24, which has been observed, to date, as a synthetic phase only; this is a new natural mineral phase. Three types of amorphous material were distinguished: a Ca-Si-C-O material, similar in composition to tilleyite; amorphous carbon in contact with diamond, which includes particles of crystalline graphite; and amorphous SiO2. No regularity in the distribution of the amorphous material was observed. In the studied aggregate, diamond crystallites and moissanite are intensively twinned, which is characteristic for these minerals formed by gas phase condensation or chemical vapor deposition (CVD) processes. The synthetic analogs of all other cementing compounds (ß-SiC, silicides, and native silicon) are typical products of CVD processes. This confirms the earlier suggested CVD mechanism for the formation of Avacha diamond aggregates. Both Avacha and Aynyn diamond aggregates are related not to "classic" diamond locations within stable cratons, but to areas of active and Holocene volcanic belts. The studied diamond aggregates from Aynyn and Avacha, by their mineralogical features and by their origin during the course of volcanic eruptions via a gas phase condensation or CVD mechanism, may be considered a new variety of polycrystalline diamond and may be called "kamchatite". Kamchatite extends the number of unusual diamond localities. It increases the potential sources of diamond and indicates the polygenetic character of diamond.
Abstract: We describe the mineralogy of a lamproite dyke from Gundrapalli village (Nalgonda district), Telangana, India. The dyke consists of a mineral assemblage characteristic of lamproites in terms of the presence of amphiboles (mainly potassic-richterite together with potassic-arfvedsonite, magnesio-riebeckite, Ti-rich potassic-magnesio-arfvedsonite, potassic-magnesio-arfvedsonite, katophorite and potassic-ferri-katophorite), Al-poor pyroxene, phlogopite (Ti-rich, Al-poor), pseudomorphed leucite, spinel (chromite-magnesiochromite), fluoroapatite, barite, titanite, rutile, baritocalcite, calcite, ilmenite, hydro-zircon, baotite, strontianite, allanite, quartz and pyrite. The absence of wadeite and priderite have been compensated for by presence of baotite, rutile, titanite, barite, and hydro-zircons. The presence of the secondary phases: allanite, hydro-zircon, chlorite, quartz, and cryptocrystalline silica, implies that the dyke has undergone deuteric alteration. The Gundrapalli dyke on the basis of its typomorphic mineralogy has been classified as a pseudoleucite-phlogopite-amphibole-lamproite. We report the presence of the rare mineral baotite from this lamproite, the first recognition of baotite from a lamproite in India. The mineralogy of the baotite- bearing Gundrapalli lamproite is analogous to the baotite- bearing Kvaløya lamproite from Troms, Norway. Ultrapotassic magmatism is quite prevalent in the Eastern Dharwar Complex of south India. Numerous new finds of lamproite dykes from and around the Palaeo-Mesoproterozoic Cuddapah basin gives an opportunity to understand the nature of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle in southern India. We present the mineralogy of a newly discovered lamproite dyke at Gundrapalli village (Nalgonda district) northwest of Cuddapah basin (Figure 1 inset). The lamproite dyke at Gundrapalli village, intruded into the Paleoproterozoic biotite granite unit of Peninsular Gneissic Complex form part of eastern Dharwar Complex. (Figure 1; Kumar et al., 2013, Ahmed et al., 2012).
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 268.
Abstract: China is the world’s largest producer of HPHT-grown industrial diamonds. Its 2016 production of about 20 billion carats accounted for 98% of the global supply. Since the beginning of 2015, meleesized colorless HPHT synthetic diamonds have been tested at the National Gemstone Testing Center’s (NGTC) Shenzhen and Beijing laboratories in parcels submitted by different clients, which means that colorless HPHT synthetic diamonds have entered the Chinese jewelry market and may be mistaken for natural diamonds. CVD synthesis technology has grown rapidly in recent years. Large colorless and colored (blue, pink) CVD-grown diamonds have been entering the market, and a few have been fraudulently sold as natural diamonds. China has independently developed gem-grade HPHT synthetic diamond production technology since 2002, and can grow gem-grade type Ib, IIa, and IIb and high-nitrogen-content synthetic diamonds in volume, depending on market needs. Gemgrade type Ib, IIa, and IIb HPHT synthetic diamonds have been grown using the temperature gradient method, under a cubic press at high pressure (e.g., 5.4 GPa) and high temperature (1300-1600°C). Driven by a specific temperature gradient, the carbon source from high-purity graphite (>99.9%) located at the high-temperature zone can diffuse into the seed crystals in the cubic press, resulting in the crystallization of synthetic diamonds. Chinese production of melee-sized colorless to near-colorless HPHT synthetic diamonds accounts for about 90% of the global output. Gem-grade type IIa and IIb CVD synthetic diamonds are grown using the microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition (MPCVD) and direct current (DC) arc plasma methods. Faceted colorless CVD diamonds can be grown in sizes up to 6 ct by at least two Chinese companies (table 1). After testing and analyzing thousands of natural and synthetic diamonds collected directly from the Chinese companies, NGTC independently developed the GV5000, PL5000, DS5000, and ADD6000 instruments for rapidly screening and identifying the diamonds based on the gemological characteristics obtained. Besides HPHT and CVD synthetic diamonds, a thickly layered hybrid diamond consisting of both natural and CVD material was identified at the NGTC Beijing laboratory (figure 1). The identification features and properties of regrown CVD synthetic diamonds using natural type Ia diamond crystals as seeds will be reported. The current status and features of colored stones examined at NGTC laboratories, including several cases studies, will be discussed.
Abstract: The Great Unconformity, a profound gap in Earth’s stratigraphic record often evident below the base of the Cambrian system, has remained among the most enigmatic field observations in Earth science for over a century. While long associated directly or indirectly with the occurrence of the earliest complex animal fossils, a conclusive explanation for the formation and global extent of the Great Unconformity has remained elusive. Here we show that the Great Unconformity is associated with a set of large global oxygen and hafnium isotope excursions in magmatic zircon that suggest a late Neoproterozoic crustal erosion and sediment subduction event of unprecedented scale. These excursions, the Great Unconformity, preservational irregularities in the terrestrial bolide impact record, and the first-order pattern of Phanerozoic sedimentation can together be explained by spatially heterogeneous Neoproterozoic glacial erosion totaling a global average of 3-5 vertical kilometers, along with the subsequent thermal and isostatic consequences of this erosion for global continental freeboard.
Abstract: The oxidation state of iron in Earth’s mantle is well known to depths of approximately 200?km, but has not been characterized in samples from the lowermost upper mantle (200-410?km depth) or the transition zone (410-660?km depth). Natural samples from the deep (>200?km) mantle are extremely rare, and are usually only found as inclusions in diamonds. Here we use synchrotron Mössbauer source spectroscopy complemented by single-crystal X-ray diffraction to measure the oxidation state of Fe in inclusions of ultra-high pressure majoritic garnet in diamond. The garnets show a pronounced increase in oxidation state with depth, with Fe3+/(Fe3++ Fe2+) increasing from 0.08 at approximately 240?km depth to 0.30 at approximately 500?km depth. The latter majorites, which come from pyroxenitic bulk compositions, are twice as rich in Fe3+ as the most oxidized garnets from the shallow mantle. Corresponding oxygen fugacities are above the upper stability limit of Fe metal. This implies that the increase in oxidation state is unconnected to disproportionation of Fe2+ to Fe3+ plus Fe0. Instead, the Fe3+ increase with depth is consistent with the hypothesis that carbonated fluids or melts are the oxidizing agents responsible for the high Fe3+ contents of the inclusions.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 267.
Abstract: Pink diamond is extremely popular among fancy-color diamonds, which has prompted numerous attempts to produce pink diamond artificially. Pink CVD synthetic diamonds appeared on the gem market around 2010. Their color was produced by a multistep process combining post-growth HPHT treatment to remove the brown hue and subsequent electron irradiation, followed by low-temperature annealing. Pink CVD synthetic diamonds treated only with low pressure and high temperature (LPHT), without additional post-growth irradiation, have also been reported but are rarely seen on the market. Recently, a loose pink stone (figure 1) was submitted to the Central Gem Laboratory in Tokyo for grading purposes. Our examination revealed that this 0.192 ct brilliant-cut marquise was a CVD synthetic diamond that had been LPHT treated. Visually, this diamond could not be distinguished from natural diamonds with similar color. However, three characteristics of CVD origin were detected: 1. C-H related absorption peaks between 3200 and 2800 cm-1, located with infrared spectroscopy 2. A luminescence peak at 737 nm, detected with photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy 3. A trace of lamellar pattern seen in the DiamondView However, irradiation-related peaks such as at 1450 cm-1 (H1a), 741.1 nm (GR1), 594.3 nm, or 393.5 nm (ND1) that are seen in the pink CVD diamonds treated with common multi-step processes were not detected. The presence of four peaks at 3123, 2901, 2870, and 2812 cm-1 between 3200 and 2800 cm-1 suggests this stone was LPHT treated; the following observations indicate that it was not HPHT treated: 1) The 3123 cm-1 peak presumably derived from NVH0 disappears after a normal HPHT treatment. 2) The 2901, 2870, and 2812 cm-1 peaks are known to shift toward higher wavenumbers as the annealing temperature rises. Our own HPHT treatment experiments on CVDgrown diamonds proved that the 2902 and 2871 cm-1 peaks detected after 1600°C annealing shifted to 2907 and 2873 cm-1 after 2300°C annealing. The peak shift of 2901, 2870, and 2812 cm-1 is also related to the pressure during the annealing, as these peaks shifted to 2902, 2871, and 2819 cm-1 at the higher pressure of 7 GPa compared to 2900, 2868, and 2813 cm-1 at the ambient pressure under the same annealing temperature of 1600°C. 3) Absorption peaks at 7917 and 7804 cm-1 in the infrared region and at 667 and 684 nm in the visible range were also detected, which coincide with the features seen in LPHTtreated stones. From the combination of the intensity ratios of optical centers such as H3 and NV centers that were detected with PL measurement, this sample is presumed to have been treated with LPHT annealing at about 1500- 1700°C as a post-growth process. In recent years, CVD synthetic diamonds have been produced in a wider range of colors due to progress in the crystal growth techniques and post-growth treatments. Although HPHT treatment has been employed mainly to improve the color in a diamond, LPHT annealing may become widespread as the technique is further developed. Gemologists need to have deep knowledge about the optical defects in such LPHT-treated specimens.
Abstract: When carbonate-rich and silicate rocks are juxtaposed at high subsolidus temperature, their contrasting elemental chemical potentials trigger metasomatism. Kimberlites in contact with felsic-to-mafic rocks should theoretically develop skarn alteration, replacing both the wall rocks and magmatic rocks. Although some kimberlites are well exposed from mining, metasomatic effects in them are difficult to isolate because of the common presence of marginal country rock breccias and assimilated country rock xenoliths. The volatilerich nature of kimberlite melts and faulting prior to the emplacement results in country rock brecciation and incorporation of as much as 70% xenoliths in kimberlite. We discuss several examples of mineralogical, textural and chemical zonation at contacts between felsic-to-mafic xenoliths, in-situ country rocks and kimberlites (Renard, Gahcho Kue, Snap Lake and Orapa). The subsolidus skarn reactions are preceded by magmatic assimilation. It partially melts feldspars and forms diopside and phlogopite coronas on xenoliths. To distinguish between incorporation and assimilation of xenoliths and contact metasomatism, we employed an improved isocon analysis that enables estimation of metasomatic contributions to geochemical diversity. Skarn reactions replace the original kimberlite minerals with serpentine, phlogopite, hydrogarnet, while xenoliths are replaced by serpentine, clinopyroxene, carbonate, chlorite, and pectolite. If the mode of felsic-to-mafic xenoliths exceeds 30%, the textures and the mineralogy of the kimberlite altered by assimilation and skarn reactions may resemble those of the Kimberly-type pyroclastic kimberlite (KPK). The distinct mineralogy of the KPK interclast matrix, the correlation between xenolith modes and the kimberlite texture, the spatial distribution of KPK in Renard and Gahcho Kue kimberlites indicate the principal role of crustal xenoliths in the KPK formation. Our data suggest that metasomatic recrystallization of kimberlites is more widespread than previously recognized, but is complex and accompanied by xenolith assimilation.
European Journal of Mineralogy, Vol. 30, 6, pp. 1083-1094.
deposit - Dalydyn
Abstract: The spatial distribution patterns of Mg-bearing ilmenite (Ilm) composition were studied on 54 kimberlite bodies of the Daldyn field in the Yakutian kimberlite province. The representativity of the ilmenites sampled in this study is ensured by analysing ca. 100 grains from each kimberlite body. The major conclusions are as follows: (1) ilmenites from neighbouring pipes within the same linear cluster have similar average compositions and compositional fields on the MgO-Cr2O3 plots; (2) ilmenites from different clusters of pipes show different average compositions and compositional fields on the MgO-Cr2O3 plots. (3) regardless of belonging to different clusters, low-Mg Ilm across the whole Daldyn field is characterized by a direct correlation between Al2O3 and MgO; (4) significant changes of MgO content are observed in high-Mg Ilm, while Al2O3 content remains at the same level. The similarity of Ilm compositions across the kimberlite field, as shown by the MgO-Al2O3 plots, is due to a common asthenospheric source. The similar Ilm compositions in different bodies within cluster of pipes is accounted for by a single supply of magma via a lithospheric mantle channel for all pipes of the cluster. The composition of the kimberlite melts can be altered owing to the incorporation and assimilation of lithospheric mantle rocks rich in Mg and Cr. These changes of the melt cause corresponding changes in the Ilm macrocryst composition, both during and after crystallization of Ilm. Thus, the Ilm macrocryst composition follows a trend from low-Mg/low-Cr for Ilm crystallizing in the asthenosphere, to high-Mg/high-Cr at higher levels in the lithosphere. The key conclusion of this study is that Ilm can be used to decipher the structure of kimberlite fields. This can provide a reliable geological criterion for grouping an association of pipes together in clusters, which were previously identified only through subjective considerations of the spatial proximity of kimberlite bodies.
Abstract: The interaction of hydrous fluids and melts with dry rocks of the lithospheric mantle inevitably modifies their viscoelastic and chemical properties due to the formation of compositionally distinct secondary phases. In addition, melt percolation and the associated metasomatic alteration of mantle rocks may also facilitate modification of the pre-existing rock texture and olivine crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) and thus seismic properties. Here we explore the relationship between mantle metasomatism, deformation and seismic anisotropy using subduction-related mantle xenoliths from the Penghu Islands, western Taiwan. The investigated xenoliths have equilibrated at upper lithospheric mantle conditions (879?°C to 1127?°C) based on pyroxene geothermometry and show distinct variations in clinopyroxene chemical composition, texture and olivine CPO allowing for the classification of two distinct groups. Group 1 xenoliths contain rare earth element (REE) depleted clinopyroxene, show a porphyroclastic texture and olivine grains are mostly characterized by -axial pattern symmetries. In contrast, REE-enriched clinopyroxene from Group 2 xenoliths occur in a fine-grained equigranular texture and coexisting olivine frequently displays -axial pattern symmetries. The clinopyroxene compositions are indicative of cryptic and modal to stealth metasomatic alteration of Group 1 and Group 2 xenoliths, respectively. Furthermore, the observed olivine -axial pattern of Group 1 xenoliths reflects deformation by dislocation creep at high temperature, low pressure and dry conditions, whereas olivine -axial patterns of Group 2 xenoliths imply activation of olivine  glide planes along preferentially wet (010) grain boundaries. This correlation indicates that the variation in olivine CPO symmetry from - to -axial pattern in Penghu xenoliths results from deformation and intra-crystalline recovery by subgrain rotation during metasomatic alteration induced by melt percolation. The microstructural observations and olivine CPO combined with petrological and geochemical data suggest that Group 1 xenoliths preserve microstructural and chemical characteristics of an old, probably Proterozoic lithosphere, while Group 2 xenoliths record localized Miocene deformation associated with wall-rock heating and metasomatism related to melt circulation. Furthermore, the observed transition of olivine CPO from -axial pattern to -axial pattern by deformation in the presence of variable melt fractions and associated metasomatic alteration can be inferred to modify the physical properties of mantle rocks.
Abstract: Quantitative trace element data from high-purity gem diamonds from the Victor Mine, Ontario, Canada as well as near-gem diamonds from peridotite and eclogite xenoliths from the Finsch and Newlands mines, South Africa, acquired using an off-line laser ablation method show that we see the same spectrum of fluids in both high-purity gem and near-gem diamonds that was previously documented in fibrous diamonds. "Planed" and "ribbed" trace element patterns characterize not only the high-density fluid (HDF) inclusions in fibrous diamonds but also in gem diamonds. Two diamonds from two Finsch harzburgite xenoliths show trace element patterns similar to those of saline fluids, documenting the involvement of saline fluids in the precipitation of gem diamonds, further strengthening the link between the parental fluids of both gem and fibrous diamonds. Differences in trace element characteristics are evident between Victor diamonds containing silicate inclusions compared with Victor diamonds containing sulphide inclusions. The sulphide-bearing diamonds show lower levels of inter-element fractionation and more widely varying siderophile element concentrations - indicating that the silicate and sulphide-bearing diamonds likely formed by gradations of the same processes, via melt-rock reaction or from a subtly different fluid source. The shallow negative LREEN-HREEN slopes displayed by the Victor diamonds establish a signature indicative of original derivation of the diamond forming agent during major melting (~10% melt). Consequently, this signature must have been passed on to HDFs separating from such silicate melts.
Abstract: Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) and commercially-available HyMap hyperspectral data were used to study the occurrence and mineralogical characteristics of limberlite diatremes in the State-Line district of Colorado/Wyoming. A mosaic of five flightlines of AVIRIS data acquired during 1996 with 20-m resolution is being used to locate and characterize the kimberlite diatremes. Higher spatial resolution data (1.6 m AVIRIS and 4m HyMap acquired in 1998 and 1999, respectively) are being used to map additional detail. Poor exposures, vegetation cover, and weathering, however, make identification of characteristic kimberlite minerals difficult except where exposed by mining. Minerals identified in the district using the hyperspectral data include calcite, dolomite, illite/muscovite, and serpentine (principally antigorite), however, most spectral signatures are dominated by both green and dry vegetation. The goal of this work is to determine methods for characterizing subtle mineralogic changes associated with kimberlites as a guide to exploration in a variety of geologic terrains.
Journal of the Geological Society of India, Vol. 93, 2, pp. 163-170.
geophysics - seismic
Abstract: The crustal structures of the Narmada region in Central India bounded by fault system (Narmada- North and South faults : NNF and NSF) has been derived from deep seismic sounding (DSS) studies along the two profiles trending almost north-south direction. The wide-angle phases have been modeled kinematically and dynamically using the 2-D asymptotic ray tracing technique. The combined seismic and gravity modeling reveals a multilayer crust in the region. The crustal wide-angle reflection phases map the Moho discontinuity, where the P-wave velocity jumps from 7.2 km s-1 to 8.0-8.1 km s-1, at depth varying between 38 km and 44 km. A layer with velocity 7.2 km s-1, exists above the Moho in most parts of the profiles and is attributed to the magmatic underplating related to the Deccan volcanism (~65 Ma). The intriguing observation of the study is a zone characterized by anomalous high velocity (6.5-6.6 km s-1) within the upper crust. 2-D gravity modeling demonstrates that this anomalous layer has a density of ~2.9 gm cm-3, which is equivalent to the rocks metamorphosed to granulite/amphibolite facies. This high velocity layer probably represents the granulite enclaves within the Archaean granites/gneiss rocks and was formed during the cratonization of the Achaean crust. Importantly, this high velocity layer shows an average upward displacement of ~8.5 km within the region bounded by NNF and NSF as compared to the regions beyond it. The studies suggest that the observed displacement in the high velocity layer of the upper crust is a result of repeated reactivation of the Narmada fault system.
Abstract: Measuring seismic anisotropy within the Earth is essential as it constitutes a proxy for inferring upper mantle deformation related to mantle flow, that develops preferred orientations of the minerals in response to tectonic strain. The most-used method to detect anisotropy beneath a seismic station is the measurement of teleseismic SKS wave splitting on two horizontal recordings, i.e. measuring the delay time (dt) between two fast- and slow- polarized shear-waves and the orientation of polarization (F). This technique allows a integrative measurement (SKS data, hereinafter) that estimates the average F and dt along the entire SKS ray-path. Despite its importance for large-scale anisotropy within the upper mantle, the analysis of SKS data suffers from several limitations : (1) SKS data become difficult to interpret in regions where several anisotropic layers occur; (2) SKS waves fail to provide robust information about anisotropy related to thin layers; and (3) SKS data can investigate rock volumes with an horizontal symmetry axis only. During the last decade a new method, called harmonic decomposition of teleseismic Receiver Functions (RFs) has been developed in order to detect more complex anisotropic layering. This methodology is based on the extraction of back-azimuth harmonics of the RF dataset. Briefly, it constitutes a tool to appreciate the value of F and dt at every depth-level affording a detailed study of the rock anisotropy with both plunging and horizontal symmetry axis. RFs studies are however commonly limited to the first 10-15s of the signal and do not sample the deepest anisotropy. In this work we investigate in details both SKS data and RFs harmonic decomposition for a pool of stations deployed in northeastern Brasil, in order to understand how results from the analysis of these two observables can be jointly interpreted. We focus our study on the permanent station RCBR and on temporary seismic stations deployed in the area. We show that comparison and/or joint interpretation is not straightforward as both results can vary according to the amount of data available and their distribution in back-azimuth, and filtering. However, tacking into account those issues, the integration of these two observables represent a great step-forward for robust detection of upper mantle anisotropy.
Abstract: Bolide impact is a ubiquitous geological process in the Solar System, which produced craters and basins filled with impact melt sheets on the terrestrial planets. However, it remains controversial whether these sheets were able to undergo large-scale igneous differentiation, or not. Here, we report on the discovery of large discrete bodies of melanorites that occur throughout almost the entire stratigraphy of the 1.85-billion-year-old Sudbury Igneous Complex (SIC) - the best exposed impact melt sheet on Earth - and use them to reaffirm that conspicuous norite-gabbro-granophyre stratigraphy of the SIC is produced by fractional crystallization of an originally homogeneous impact melt of granodioritic composition. This implies that more ancient and compositionally primitive Hadean impact melt sheets on the Earth and other terrestrial planets also underwent large-volume igneous differentiation. The near-surface differentiation of these giant impact melt sheets may therefore have contributed to the evolution and lithological diversity of the proto-crust on terrestrial planets.
Abstract: The supercontinent cycle of episodic assembly and breakup of almost all continents on Earth is commonly considered the longest period variation to affect mantle convection. However, global zircon Hf isotopic signatures and seawater Sr isotope ratios suggest the existence of a longer-term variation trend that is twice the duration of the supercontinent cycle. Here we propose that since ~2 billion years ago the superocean surrounding a supercontinent, as well as the circum-supercontinent subduction girdle, survive every second supercontinent cycle. This interpretation is in agreement with global palaeogeography and is supported by variations in passive margin, orogen, and mineral deposit records that each exhibits both ~500-700 million years periodic signal and a 1000-1500 million years variation trend. We suggest that the supercontinent cycle is modulated by an assembly that alternates between dominantly extroversion after a more complete breakup, and dominantly introversion after an incomplete breakup of the previous supercontinent.
Abstract: The Indian Shield is cross-cut by a number of distinct Paleoproterozoic mafic dyke swarms. The density of dykes in the Dharwar and Bastar Cratons is amongst the highest on Earth. Globally, boninitic dyke swarms are rare compared to tholeiitic dyke swarms and yet they are common within the Southern Indian Shield. Geochronology and geochemistry are used to constrain the petrogenesis and relationship of the boninitic dykes (SiO2?=?51.5 to 55.7?wt%, MgO?=?5.8 to 18.7?wt%, and TiO2?=?0.30?wt% to 0.77?wt%) from the central Bastar Craton (Bhanupratappur) and the NE Dharwar Craton (Karimnagar). A single U-Pb baddeleyite age from a boninitic dyke near Bhanupratappur yielded a weighted-mean 207Pb/206Pb age of 2365.6?±?0.9?Ma that is within error of boninitic dykes from the Dharwar Craton near Karimnagar (2368.5?±?2.6?Ma) and farther south near Bangalore (2365.4?±?1.0?Ma to 2368.6?±?1.3?Ma). Rhyolite-MELTS modeling indicates that fractional crystallization is the likely cause of major element variability of the boninitic dykes from Bhanupratappur whereas trace element modeling indicates that the primary melt may be derived from a pyroxenite mantle source near the spinel-garnet transition zone. The Nd isotopes (eNd(t)?=?-6.4 to +4.5) of the Bhanupratappur dykes are more variable than the Karimnagar dykes (eNd(t)?=?-0.7 to +0.6) but they overlap. The variability of Sr-Nd isotopes may be related to crustal contamination during emplacement or is indicative of an isotopically heterogeneous mantle source. The chemical and temporal similarities of the Bhanupratappur dykes with the dykes of the Dharwar Craton (Karimnagar, Penukonda, Chennekottapalle) indicate they are members of the same giant radiating dyke swarm. Moreover, our results suggest that the Bastar and Dharwar Cratons were adjacent but likely had a different configuration at 2.37?Ga than the present day. It is possible that the 2.37Ga dyke swarm was related to a mantle plume that assisted in the break-up of an unknown or poorly constrained supercontinent.
Abstract: The terrestrial planets are believed to have been formed from primitive material sampling a broad region of the inner solar system. Several meteoritic mixing models attempting to reconcile isotopic characteristics of Mars and Earth have been proposed, but, because of the inherent non-uniqueness of these solutions, additional independent observations are required to resolve the question of the primary building blocks of the terrestrial planets. Here, we consider existing isotopic measurements of O, ?48Ca, ?50Ti, ?54Cr, ?62Ni, and ?84Sr for primitive chondrites and differentiated achondrites and mix these stochastically to reproduce the isotopic signatures of Mars and Earth. For both planets we observe ~ 105 unique mixing solutions out of 108 random meteoritic mixtures, which are categorised into distinct clusters of mixtures using principal component analysis. The large number of solutions implies that isotopic data alone are insufficient to resolve the building blocks of the terrestrial planets. To further discriminate between isotopically valid mixtures, each mixture is converted into a core and mantle component via mass balance for which geophysical properties are computed and compared to observations. For Mars, the geophysical parameters include mean density, mean moment of inertia, and tidal response, whereas for Earth upper mantle Mg/(Mg+Fe) ratio and core size are employed. The results show that Mars requires an oxidised, FeO-rich differentiated object next to chondritic material as main building blocks. In contrast, Earth's origin remains enigmatic. From a redox perspective, it appears inescapable that enstatite chondrite-like matter constitutes a dominant proportion of the building blocks from which Earth is made. The apparent need for compositionally distinct building blocks for Mars and Earth suggests that dissimilar planetesimal reservoirs were maintained in the inner Solar System during accretion.
Abstract: Multifractal features of element concentrations in the Earth’s crust have demonstrated to be closely associated with multiple probability distributions such as normal, lognormal and power law. However, traditional understanding of geochemical distribution satisfying normal, lognormal or power-law models still faces a serious problem in adjusting theoretical statistics with the empirical distribution. Given that the differences among different geochemical distribution populations may have considerable effects on the target estimation, a new perspective from the singularity of fractal density is adopted to investigate mixed geochemical distribution patterns within frequency and space domains. In the framework of fractal geometry, ordinary density such as volume density (e.g., g/cm3 and kg/m3) described in Euclidean space can be considered as a special case of the fractal density (e.g., g/cma and kg/ma). According to the nature of fractal density, geochemical information obtained from Euclidean geometry may not sufficiently reflect inherent geochemical features, because some information might be hidden within fractal geometry that can be only revealed by means of a set of fractional dimensions. In the present study, stream sediment geochemical data collected from west Tianshan region, Xinjiang (China), were used to explore element distribution patterns in the Earth’s crust based on a fractal density model. Four elements Cu, Zn, K and Na were selected to study the differences between minor and major elements in terms of their geochemical distribution patterns. The results strongly suggest that element distribution patterns can be well revealed and interpreted by means of a fractal density model and related statistical and multifractal parameters.
Abstract: The Re-Os isotopic system is largely considered the geochronometer of choice to date partial melting of terrestrial peridotites and in constraining the evolution of Earth's dynamics from the mantle viewpoint. While whole-rock peridotite Re-Os isotopic signatures are the core of such investigations, the Re-Os dating of individual peridotite minerals—base metal sulfides (BMS) and platinum group minerals (PGM)—that are the main hosts for Re and Os in the mantle peridotites came into play two decades ago. These nanometric-micrometric BMS and PGM display an extreme complexity and heterogeneity in their 187Os/188Os and 187Re/188Os signatures that result from the origin of the BMS±PGM grains (residual vs. meta-somatic), the nature of the metasomatic agents, the transport/precipitation mechanisms, BMS±PGM mineral-ogy, and subsequent Re/Os fractionation. Corresponding whole-rock host peridotites, typically plot within the 187Os/188Os and 187Re/188Os ranges defined by the BMS±PGM, clearly demonstrating that their Re-Os signatures represent the average of the different BMS±PGM populations. The difference between the 187Os/188Os ratios of the least radiogenic BMS±PGM and the respective host peridotite increases with the fertility of the peridotite reflecting the increasing contribution of metasomatic BMS±PGM to the whole-rock mass balance of Re and Os concentrations and Os isotope compositions. Corollaries to these observations are that (1) BMS may provide a record of much older partial melting event, pushing back in time the age of the lithospheric mantle stabilization, (2) if only whole-rock peridotite Re-Os isotopic measurements are possible, then the best targets for constraining the timing of lithospheric stabilization are BMS-free/BMS-poor ultra-refractory spinel-bearing peridotites with very minimal metasomatic overprint, as their 187Os/188Os signatures may be geologically meaningful, (3) while lherzolites are “fertile” in terms of their geochemical composition, they do not have a “primitive,” unmodified composition, certainly in terms of their highly siderophile elements (HSE) and Re-Os isotopic systematics, and (4) the combined Re-Os isotopic investigations of BMS and whole-rock in BMS-rich mantle peridotites would provide a complementary view on the timing and nature of the petrological events responsible for the chemical and isotopic evolution and destruction of the lithospheric mantle. In addition, the 187Os/188Os composition of the BMS±PGM (both residual and metasomatic) within any single peridotite may define several age clusters—in contrast to the single whole-rock value—and thus provide a more accurate picture of the complex petrogenetic history of the lithospheric mantle. When coupled with a detailed BMS±PGM petrographical study and whole-rock lithophile and HSE systematics, these BMS age clusters highlight the timing and nature of the petrological events contributing to the formation and chemical and isotopic evolution of the lithospheric mantle. These BMS±PGM age clusters may match regional or the local crustal ages, suggesting that the formation and evolution of the lithospheric mantle and its overlying crust are linked, providing mirror records of their geological and chemical history. This is, however, not a rule of thumb as clear evidence of crust-mantle age decoupling also exist. Although the BMS±PGM Re-Os model ages push back in time the stabilization of lithospheric mantle, the dichotomy between Archean cratonic and circum-cratonic peridotites, and post-Archean non-cratonic peridotites and tectonites is preserved. This ability of BMS±PGM to preserve older ages than their host peridotite also underscores their survival for billions of years without being reset or reequilibrated despite the complex petrogenetic processes recorded by their host mantle peridotites. As such, they are the mantle equivalents of crustal zircons. Preservation of such old signatures in “young” oceanic peridotites ultimately rules out the use of the Re-Os signatures in both oceanic peridotites and their BMS to estimate the timescales of isotopic homogenization of the convecting mantle.
Abstract: Leucite-bearing volcanic rocks are commonly found within and around the Mediterranean area. A specific type of this rock group are leucitites. They are found both in a hinterland position of active and fossil subduction systems as well as in foreland tectonic settings, but none have been found in the Maghreb (N Africa) and Mashreq (Middle East) areas. Here a review of the main leucitite occurrences in the circum-Mediterranean area is presented, with new whole-rock, mineral chemical and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic ratios on key districts, with the aim of clarifying the classification and genesis of this rock type. Many of the rocks classified in literature as leucitites do not conform to the IUGS definition of leucitite (i.e., rocks with >10?vol% modal leucite and with foids/(foids + feldspars) ratio?>?0.9, with leucite being the most abundant foid). Among circum-Mediterranean rocks classified as leucitites in the literature, we distinguish two types: clinopyroxene-olivine-phyric (COP) and leucite- phyric (LP) types. Only the second group can be truly classified as leucitite, being characterized by the absence or the very rare presence of feldspars, as well as by ultrapotassic composition. The COP group can be distinguished from the LP group on the basis of lower SiO2, Na2O?+?K2O, K2O/Na2O, Al2O3, Rb and Ba, and higher MgO, TiO2, Nb, Cr and Ni. The LP group shows multi-elemental patterns resembling magmas emplaced in subduction-related settings, while COP rocks are much more variable, showing HIMU-OIB-like to subduction-related-like incompatible element patterns. COP rocks are also characterized generally by more homogeneous isotopic compositions clustering towards low Sr and high Nd isotopic ratios, while LP leucitites plot all in the enriched Sr-Nd isotopic quadrant. LP rocks usually have lower 206Pb/204Pb and higher 207Pb/204Pb. This study shows that the geochemical signal of mantle melts does not always reflect the tectonic setting of magma emplacement, suggesting paying extreme attention in proposing geodynamic reconstructions on the basis of chemical data only.
Abstract: The role of magmatic differentiation is considered for the formation of the Ulan-Tologoi Ta-Nb-Zr deposit (northwestern Mongolia) related to the eponymous alkali granite pluton. Data are presented on the structure of the pluton, the composition of its rocks, and distribution of rare metal mineralization. The ores of the pluton include alkali granites with contents of ore elements exceeding the normative threshold for Ta (>100 ppm). The rare metal mineralization includes pyrochlore, columbite, zircon, bastnaesite, monazite, and thorite, which are typical of all alkali-salic rocks; however, their amount varies depending on the REE content of the rocks. The pluton was formed ~298 Ma ago under the influence of a mantle-crustal melt source.
Abstract: The emplacement age of the Great Udzha Dyke (northern Siberian Craton) was determined by the U-Pb dating of apatite using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS). This produced an age of 1386 ± 30 Ma. This dyke along with two other adjacent intrusions, which cross-cut the sedimentary units of the Udzha paleo-rift, were subjected to paleomagnetic investigation. The paleomagnetic poles for the Udzha paleo-rift intrusions are consistent with previous results published for the Chieress dyke in the Anabar shield of the Siberian Craton (1384 ± 2 Ma). Our results suggest that there was a period of intense volcanism in the northern Siberian Craton, as well as allow us to reconstruct the apparent migration of the Siberian Craton during the Mesoproterozoic.
Abstract: Palaeogeography is the representation of the past surface of the Earth. It provides the spatial context for investigating how the Earth evolves through time, how complex processes interact and the juxtaposition of spatial information. In hydrocarbon exploration, palaeogeographies have been used to map and investigate the juxtaposition, distribution and quality of play elements (source, reservoir, seal and trap), as boundary conditions for source-to-sink analysis, climate modelling and lithofacies retrodiction, but most commonly as the backdrop for presentations and montages. This paper demonstrates how palaeogeography has been and can be used within an exploration workflow to help mitigate exploration risk. A comprehensive workflow for building palaeogeographies is described which is designed to provide a standard approach that can be applied to a range of tasks in exploration and academia. This is drawn from an analysis of the history of palaeogeography and how it has been applied to exploration in the past and why. Map applications, resolution and content depend on where in the exploration and production (E&P) cycle the map is used. This is illustrated here through three case studies, from the strategic decisions of global new ventures exploration to the more detailed basin and petroleum analyses of regional asset teams evaluating basins and plays. Through this, the paper also addresses three commonly asked questions: (1) How can I use palaeogeography in my workflow? (2) How reliable are the maps? (3) How do I build a palaeogeography?
Abstract: The subduction of carbonates beyond 250-300?km, where redox conditions favour the presence of metallic iron (Fe), will result in redox reactions with the Fe dispersed in the silicate rocks. Here, we studied the effect of water on the carbonate-Fe interaction in the hydromagnesite-Fe system at 6, 8 and 16?GPa and the peridotite-CO2-H2O-Fe system at 8?GPa, using a multianvil apparatus. In all of the studied samples, we observed the formation of magnesiowüstite, graphite and carbide. Additionally, in the peridotite-CO2-H2O-Fe system, magnesiowüstite reacted with pyroxenes, resulting in olivine enrichment. Kinetic calculations performed at 8?GPa showed that, at the pressure-temperature (P-T) parameters of the ‘hot’, ‘medium’ and ‘cold’ subduction, about 40, 12 and 4?vol% of carbonates, respectively, would be reduced in the hydrous system within 1 Myr, assuming direct contact with Fe. Based on the present results, it is suggested that carbonates will largely be consumed during the characteristic subduction time to the mantle transition zone by reaction with the reduced mantle in the presence of hydrous fluid.
Using diamond characterization to refine micro and macro diamond processing and recovery.
Vancouver Kimberlite , Jan. 31, 1p. Abstract
Abstract: Bulk samples for both micro and macro diamond recovery are very costly, and typically only a small amount of quantitative data is collected, this is particularly the case for micro diamonds. Standard practise is to only provide information on the number of diamonds, their sizes, and weight. However, a large amount of quantitative data can be collected for both micro and macro diamonds to understand their unique characteristics. This data can be used to enhance diamond recovery through optimization of standard processes or introduction of appropriate processing equipment. The more information that can be collected in the prefeasibility stage, the more streamlined the diamond recovery circuit can be made, and the less diamond loss will occur. This presentation will provide an overview of standard recovery methods for micro and macro diamonds as well as other test work that can be applied to the parcels. The resulting data can provide information on the unique properties for that parcel in order to customize process flows and optimize recovery. Caustic fusion is a widely accepted method for micro diamond recovery. Thanks to its high liberation efficiency by dissolution, caustic fusion can also be an effective tool for auditing process streams. Any additional diamonds recovered through these audits can be studied to determine if crusher gap or pressure settings are appropriate for optimal liberation or if there are any other properties the diamonds may have that inhibits proper recovery, such as unique fluorescence characteristics, abundant inclusions, coats, etc. Dense media separation (DMS) is currently the most common method of concentration for the recovery of macro diamonds. Process flows can be modified in attempts to optimize plant performance but there can often be sacrifices. Diamond breakage can be assessed to give insight on the type of damage occurring and if the source is mechanical or related to the properties of the diamonds themselves. By considering the diamond breakage, updated size frequency distribution plots can be made, and predictions on the largest diamond expected for the kimberlite tonnage can be made. This information can also be used when determining parameters such as crusher gap settings. In addition, densiometric analyses can provide a useful profile of the predominant mineral background in the DMS process material to determine the appropriate cut point. Once diamonds are recovered, the resulting parcels can have a story to tell in addition to the diamond value. Magnetic susceptibility investigations can provide information on included diamonds and how magnetics could be incorporated into a flow sheet for pre-recovery concentration. Diamond Typing based on their nitrogen content and aggregation states can identify populations of stones that could make recovery less effective. Type II diamonds are commonly known for being large and high value, however, they also exhibit low to no luminescence under conventional x-ray recovery equipment. Luminescence profiles can be measured and provide feedback on the appropriate x-ray thresholds for the recovery equipment. Being able to predict the characteristics of the diamond populations which will be mined can provide information to design a primary ore recovery circuit to recover these stones. There is a wide array of process equipment available for diamond recovery, some very old, and some very new, however there are ways to provide data on what combination will work best.
Abstract: Palaeogeography is the cartographic representation of the past distribution of geographic features such as deep oceans, shallow seas, lowlands, rivers, lakes and mountain belts on palinspastically restored plate tectonic base maps. It is closely connected with plate tectonics which grew from an earlier theory of continental drift and is largely responsible for creating and structuring the Earth's lithosphere. Today, palaeogeography is an integral part of the Earth sciences curriculum. Commonly, with some exceptions, only the most recent state of research is presented; the historical aspects of how we actually came to the insights which we take for granted are rarely discussed, if at all. It is remarkable how much was already known about the changing face of the Earth more than three centuries before the theory of plate tectonics, despite the fact that most of our present analytical tools or our models were unavailable then. Here, we aim to present a general conspectus from the dawn of ‘palaeogeography’ in the 16th century onwards. Special emphasis is given to innovative ideas and scientific milestones, supplemented by memorable anecdotes, which helped to advance the theories of continental drift and plate tectonics, and finally led to the establishment of palaeogeography as a recognized discipline of the Earth sciences.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, Fall 1p. Abstract p. 258
Africa, Namibia, South America, Brazil
Abstract: Laser- and ultraviolet-excited luminescence spectroscopy and imaging are important techniques for gemstone testing, as they are among the most sensitive spectroscopic methods (see Hainschwang et al., 2013). They are able to identify optically active crystallographic defects such as vacancies and substitutions that are present in such small amounts that they cannot be detected by any other analytical method. Photoluminescence (PL) analysis became particularly important in the last decade for the separation of natural from synthetic diamonds and the detection of treatments. Today the availability of specially designed and reasonably priced portable equipment enables the rapid in situ identification of mounted and unmounted natural diamonds. Although PL spectroscopy is most commonly used for diamond identification, it can also be applied to colored stones. Some stones exhibit unique luminescence patterns, which can be used to identify the material. Other examples are the separation of natural from synthetic spinel and the detection of heat-treated spinel. Since chromium is a typical PL-causing trace element, it is also possible to separate chromium-colored gems such as ruby and jadeite from their artificially colored counterparts. The color authenticity of specific types of corals and pearls can also be determined. The rare earth elements (REE) are among the main substituting luminescence centers in Ca2+-bearing minerals (Gaft et al., 2005). Recently, REE photoluminescence has been observed in cuprian liddicoatite tourmalines from Mozambique (Milisenda and Müller, 2017). When excited by a 785 nm laser, the stones showed a series of bands at 861, 869, 878, 894, and 1053 nm, consistent with the PL spectra of other calcium-rich minerals (Chen and Stimets, 2014). LA-ICP-MS analysis confirmed the REE enrichment in this type of tourmaline compared to cuprian elbaites from Brazil and Nigeria. As a result, photoluminescence can be used as a further criterion for origin determination of Paraíba-type tourmalines. We have extended our research on other calcium-rich gems, including various grossular garnet varieties such as hessonite and tsavorite (figure 1), uvarovite garnet, apatite, titanite, and scheelite, as well as a number of high-refractive-index glasses and colorchange glasses, respectively.
Abstract: Over geological timescales, CO2 levels are determined by the operation of the long term carbon cycle, and it is generally thought that changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration have controlled variations in Earth's surface temperature over the Phanerozoic Eon. Here we compile independent estimates for global average surface temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration, and compare these to the predictions of box models of the long term carbon cycle COPSE and GEOCARBSULF. We find a strong relationship between CO2 forcing and temperature from the proxy data, for times where data is available, and we find that current published models reproduce many aspects of CO2 change, but compare poorly to temperature estimates. Models are then modified in line with recent advances in understanding the tectonic controls on carbon cycle source and sink processes, with these changes constrained by modelling 87Sr/86Sr ratios. We estimate CO2 degassing rates from the lengths of subduction zones and rifts, add differential effects of erosion rates on the weathering of silicates and carbonates, and revise the relationship between global average temperature changes and the temperature change in key weathering zones. Under these modifications, models produce combined records of CO2 and temperature change that are reasonably in line with geological and geochemical proxies (e.g. central model predictions are within the proxy windows for >~75% of the time covered by data). However, whilst broad long-term changes are reconstructed, the models still do not adequately predict the timing of glacial periods. We show that the 87Sr/86Sr record is largely influenced by the weathering contributions of different lithologies, and is strongly controlled by erosion rates, rather than being a good indicator of overall silicate chemical weathering rates. We also confirm that a combination of increasing erosion rates and decreasing degassing rates over the Neogene can cause the observed cooling and Sr isotope changes without requiring an overall increase in silicate weathering rates. On the question of a source or sink dominated carbon cycle, we find that neither alone can adequately reconstruct the combination of CO2, temperature and strontium isotope dynamics over Phanerozoic time, necessitating a combination of changes to sources and sinks. Further progress in this field relies on >108?year dynamic spatial reconstructions of ancient tectonics, paleogeography and hydrology. Whilst this is a significant challenge, the latest reconstruction techniques, proxy records and modelling advances make this an achievable target.
XVI Internationa conference on luminescence and Laser Physics devoted to the 100th. Anniversary of Irkusk State University, AIP Conf. doi.org/10.163/ 1.5089849 9p. Pdf
Abstract: The octahedron, the cube and combinations of <111> and <001> facets are considered as growth shapes of diamond. Genesis of <011> pyramids is discussed in the literature. As shown in diamonds with the tangential growth process of <111> pyramids, the <001> and <011> pyramids are the pseudo-forms formed by accretion of adjoining pyramids <111> at their anti-skeletal growth. Accretion of layers is not always coherent; as a result, this surface becomes rough and "goffered". The normal to this "goffered" surface corresponds to C2, however this surface is not a <011> facet as it is a geometrical place of accretion of two adjoining <111> pyramids. A place of accretion is enriched with dislocations and other structural defects in comparison with the <111> pyramids, as it is visualized in a luminescence. The luminescence of these pseudo-pyramids gives the pattern known as "the Maltese cross" in (001) plate. Similarly <001> surface is a place of accretion of four adjacent <111> pyramids and is enriched with defects. In this case, the surface of "cube" will consist of a set of small heads of an octahedron. Essentially <011> pyramids occur more often than <001> pyramids.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 307-8.
Abstract: Type Ib-dominant mixed-type diamonds (Ib-IaA) can be formed by multiple growth events (Titkov et al., 2015; Smit et al., 2018). In this study, we report on a 0.41 ct Fancy Dark brown gem - quality diamond that formed in a single growth event. It is a type Ib-IaA with a C defect (single-substitutional nitrogen atom) concentration up to 21 ppm. The Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) peaks of the H1a and H1b defects (figure 1, left) suggest that this diamond was irradiated and annealed to achieve a Fancy color grade. The cuboctahedral structure can be observed in the DiamondView images (figure 1, right), which show reddish orange submitted to GIA for screening, we found that more than 70% of them contained a typical mineral assemblage from the sublithosphere. Jeffbenite (TAPP), majorite garnet, enstatite, and ferropericlase have been observed, which could be retrograde products of former bridgmanite. CaSiO3-walstromite with larnite and titanite is the dominant phase present in approximately 40% of all diamond samples. Direct evidence from oxygen isotope ratios measured by secondary ion mass spectrometry, or SIMS, (d18OVSMOWin the range +10.7 to +12.5‰) of CaSiO3-walstromite with coexisting larnite and titanite that retrograde from CaSiO3-perovskite suggest that hydrothermally altered oceanic basalt can subduct to depths of >410 km in the transition zone. Incorporation of materials from subducted altered oceanic crust into the deep mantle produced diamond inclusions that have both lower mantle and subduction signatures. Ca(Si,Al)O3-perovskite was observed with a high concentration of rare earth elements (>5 wt.%) that could be enriched under P-Tconditions in the lower mantle. Evidence from ringwoodite with a hydroxide bond, coexisting tuite and apatite, precipitates of an NH3phase, and cohenite with trace amounts of Cl imply that the subducted brines can potentially introduce hydrous fluid to the bottom of the transition zone. In the diamonds with subducted materials, the increasing carbon isotope ratio from the core to the rim region detected by SIMS (d13C from -5.5‰ to -4‰) suggests that an oxidized carbonate-dominated fluid was associated with recycling of the subducted hydrous material. The deep subduction played an important role in balancing redox exchange with the reduced lower mantle indicated by precipitated iron nanoparticles and coexisting hydrocarbons and carbonate phases.
Abstract: Our discovery of moissanite grains in a peralkaline syenite from the Água de Pau Volcano (São Miguel, Azores Islands, Portugal) represents the first report of this mineral in present day oceanic geodynamic settings. Raman spectroscopy and single-crystal X-ray diffraction show the presence of both the 6H and 4H polytypes with the predominance of the first one. The distribution of trace elements is homogeneous, except for Al and V. Azorean moissanite often hosts rounded inclusions of metallic Si and other not yet identified metallic alloys. A process involving a flushing of CH4-H2 ultra-reducing fluids in the alkaline melts might be considered as a possible mechanism leading to the formation of natural SiC, thus calling for strongly reducing conditions that were locally met in the crust-mantle beneath the São Miguel Island.
Journal of the Southern African Insitiute of Mining and Metallurgy, Vol. 118, 8, pp. 845- 852.
Africa, South Africa
Abstract: The number of people involved in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) has grown quickly to about 40.5 million, compared to 7 million in industrial mining. Furthermore, the ASM sector is contributing significantly to global mineral supply and new opportunities are arising for ASM in an evolving mining ecosystem. Given this growth trend, it is important to ask whether ASM is likely to be successful in the mining of all types of orebodies. The history of early South African diamond mining suggests that the mining of a massive ore deposit by numerous artisanal and small-scale miners is likely to result in poor safety conditions as the depth of mining increases. Early photographs taken at the Kimberley mine showed a very uneven pit floor with leads-lags between the claims. This raises the question of why neighbouring miners did not ensure safer working conditions for each other. Two models described in the paper illustrate why there is likely to be a lack of cooperation and coordination between miners to address this and other safety-related problems. The dynamics of multiple claim holders mining next to one another at increasing depths are analysed, and it is shown that a consolidation of claims into a single firm per kimberlite pipe was required for improved planning, coordination, safety, efficiency, and sustainability.
Abstract: Identification of the Late Mesozoic carbonatite province in Central Asia is herein discussed. Its regional extent and distribution is investigated, and the areas with manifestations of carbonatite magmatism are described. It is shown that they were developed in terranes with heterogeneous and heterochronous basements: Siberian (Aldan Shield) and North China cratons; Early Paleozoic (Caledonian) and Middle-Late Paleozoic (Hercynian) structures of the Central Asian fold belt (Transbaikal and Tuva zones in Russia; Mongolia). Irrespective of the structural position, the carbonatites were generated within a relatively narrow time interval (150-118?Ma). The geochemical (Sr, LREE, Ba, F and P) specialization of carbonatites of the province is reflected in their mineral composition. Some rocks of the carbonatite complexes always include one or more distinctive minerals: fluorite, Ba-Sr sulfates, Ba-Sr-Ca carbonates, LREE fluorocarbonates, or apatite. Compared to counterparts from other age groups (for example, Maimecha-Kotui group in North Asia), these carbonatites are depleted in Ti, Nb, Ta, Zr and Hf. It is shown that the Sr and Nd isotope composition of carbonatites correlates with the geological age of the host crust. Rocks of carbonatite complexes associated with cratons are characterized by the lowest eNd(T) and highest ISr(T) values, indicating that their formation involved an ancient lithospheric material. Carbonatite magmatism occurred simultaneously with the largest plateau basalts 130-120?Ma ago in rift zones in the Late Mesozoic intraplate volcanic province of Central Asia. This interval corresponds to timing of global activation of intraplate magmatism processes, suggesting a link of the carbonatite province with these processes. It is shown that fields with the carbonatite magmatism were controlled by small mantle plumes (“hot fingers”) responsible for the Central Asian mantle plume events.
Abstract: We present an extensive study of rehomogenized olivine-hosted melt inclusions, olivine phenocrysts, and chromian spinel inclusions to explore the link between geodynamic conditions and the origin and composition of Pliocene-Quaternary intraplate magmatism in Anatolia at Kula, Ceyhan-Osmaniye, and Karacadag. Exceptional compositional variability of these products reveals early and incomplete mixing of distinct parental melts in each volcanic center, reflecting asthenospheric and lithospheric mantle sources. The studied primitive magmas consist of (1) two variably enriched ocean island basalt (OIB)-type melts in Kula; (2) both OIB-type and plume mid-ocean ridge basalt (P-MORB)-like melts beneath Toprakkale and Üçtepeler (Ceyhan-Osmaniye); and (3) two variably enriched OIB-type melts beneath Karacadag. Estimated conditions of primary melt generation are 23-9 kbar, 75-30 km, and 1415-1215 °C for Kula; 28-19 kbar, 90-65 km, and 1430-1350 °C for Toprakkale; 23-18 kbar, 75-60 km, and 1400-1355 °C for Üçtepeler; and 35-27 kbar, 115-90 km, and 1530-1455 °C for Karacadag, the deepest levels of which correspond to the depth of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary in all regions. Although magma ascent was likely facilitated by local deformation structures, recent Anatolian intraplate magmatism seems to be triggered by large-scale mantle flow that also affects the wider Arabian and North African regions. We infer that these volcanics form part of a much wider Arabian-North African intraplate volcanic province, which was able to invade the Anatolian upper plate through slab gaps.
Abstract: At the core of many Earth-scale processes is the question of what the deep mantle is made of. The only direct samples from such extreme depths are diamonds and their inclusions. It is commonly assumed that these inclusions reflect ambient mantle or are syngenetic with diamond, but these assumptions are rarely tested. We have studied inclusion-host growth relationships in two potentially superdeep diamonds from Juina (Brazil) containing nine inclusions of Fe-rich (XFe ˜0.33 to =0.64) ferropericlase-magnesiowüstite (FM) by X-ray diffractometry, X-ray tomography, cathodoluminescence, electron backscatter diffraction, and electron microprobe analysis. The inclusions share a common  zone axis with their diamonds and have their major crystallographic axes within 3°-8° of those of their hosts. This suggests a specific crystallographic orientation relationship (COR) resulting from interfacial energy minimization, disturbed by minor post-entrapment rotation around  due to plastic deformation. The observed COR and the relationships between inclusions and diamond growth zones imply that FM nucleated during the growth history of the diamond. Therefore, these inclusions may not provide direct information on the ambient mantle prior to diamond formation. Consequently, a “non-pyrolitic” composition of the lower mantle is not required to explain the occurrence of Fe-rich FM inclusions in diamonds. By identifying examples of mineral inclusions that reflect the local environment of diamond formation and not ambient mantle, we provide both a cautionary tale and a means to test diamond-inclusion time relationships for proper application of inclusion studies to whole-mantle questions.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 304.
Abstract: Gem-quality laboratory-grown diamonds are manufactured in large quantities. With frequent reports of the mixing of meleesized synthetic diamonds with natural stones, demand for melee diamond screening is increasing. During melee diamond screening at GIA’s Tokyo lab, two notable types of samples with uncommon characteristics have been found. 1. Natural melee diamonds with silicon and nickel defects. Luminescence peaks derived from Si- and Ni-related defects are often observed in colorless melee grown by the HPHT method. The silicon-related defect, once considered proof of CVD-grown diamond, is now known to exist naturally as well (Breeding and Wang, 2008). Several colorless melee diamonds having both silicon- and nickel-related emissions have been found in GIA’s Tokyo lab; olivine inclusions were found in one of these samples. Spectroscopic and gemological features confirmed that the samples were grown in nature. 2. Irradiated laboratory-grown diamond melee found among irradiated natural melee diamonds. Several thousand greenish blue melee diamonds have been submitted by various clients to the Tokyo lab for testing. Each diamond’s color was attributed to a strong GR1 defect caused by irradiation treatment. Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR), photoluminescence (PL), and DiamondView analysis revealed that most of them were irradiated natural diamonds. Eight were irradiated CVD-grown diamonds, and one was an irradiated HPHT-grown specimen. The infrared spectrum of all the CVD samples showed a peak at 3123 cm-1, while their PL spectrum showed a doublet peak at 596/597 nm. Those peaks are specific to as-grown CVD diamonds, as annealing removes the peaks. From their spectra, these CVD specimens were considered irradiated without pre-annealing.
Abstract: In the present study, four samples of natural melilites were characterized using electron microprobe analysis, powder X-ray diffraction, FTIR, and Raman spectroscopy, and their thermodynamic properties were measured with a high-temperature heat-flux Tian-Calvet microcalorimeter. The enthalpies of formation from the elements were determined to be: -3796.3 ± 4.1 kJ/mol for Ca1.8Na0.2(Mg0.7Al0.2Fe2+0.1?)Si2O7, -3753.6 ± 5.2 kJ/mol for Ca1.6Na0.4(Mg0.5Al0.4Fe2+0.1?)Si2O7, -3736.4 ± 3.7 kJ/mol for Ca1.6Na0.4(Mg0.4Al0.4Fe2+0.2?)Si2O7, and -3929.2 ± 3.8 kJ/mol for Ca2(Mg0.4Al0.6)[Si1.4Al0.6O7]. Using the obtained formation enthalpies and estimated entropies, the standard Gibbs free energies of formation of these melilites were calculated. Finally, the enthalpies of the formation of the end-members of the isomorphic åkermanite-gehlenite and åkermanite-alumoåkermanite series were derived. The obtained thermodynamic properties of melilites of different compositions can be used for quantitative modeling of formation conditions of these minerals in related geological and industrial processes.
Diamond & Related Materials, Vol. 91, pp. 207-212.
Abstract: We report the results of a study of the polycrystalline powder of the diamond-lonsdaleite from the Popigai crater (Siberia) using UV micro-Raman spectroscopy and high-resolution synchrotron X-ray diffraction. By subtracting two experimental Raman spectra of diamond-lonsdaleite samples with close amounts of diamond and lonsdaleite, we were able to identify the polytypic composition of impact diamonds in contrast to the method of X-ray diffraction. We have managed to get for the first time the spectrum of “pure” lonsdaleite. Its deconvolution has allowed us to identify all the three Raman - active vibrational modes E2g, A1g, and E1g whose positions agree well with the results of ab initio calculations.
Abstract: Serpentinized oceanic mantle lithosphere is considered an important carrier of water and fluid-mobile elements, including halogens, into subduction zones. Seafloor serpentinite compositions indicate Cl, Br and I are sourced from seawater and sedimentary pore fluids, while F may be derived from hydrothermal fluids. Overall, the heavy halogens are expelled from serpentinites during the lizardite-antigorite transition. Fluorine, on the other hand, appears to be retained or may be introduced from dehydrating sediments and/or igneous rocks during early subduction. Mass balance calculations indicate nearly all subducted F is kept in the subducting slab to ultrahigh-pressure conditions. Despite a loss of Cl, Br and I from serpentinites (and other lithologies) during early subduction, up to 15% of these elements are also retained in the deep slab. Based on a conservative estimate for serpentinite thickness of the metamorphosed slab (500 m), antigorite serpentinites comprise 37% of this residual Cl, 56% of Br and 50% of I, therefore making an important contribution to the transport of these elements to the deep mantle.
Abstract: This special issue is intended to serve as a multidisciplinary forum covering broad aspects of the science, technology, and application of synthetic and natural diamonds. This special issue contains 12 papers, which highlight recent investigations and developments in diamond research related to the diverse problems of natural diamond genesis, diamond synthesis and growth using CVD and HPHT techniques, and the use of diamond in both traditional applications, such as mechanical machining of materials, and the new recently emerged areas, such as quantum technologies. The results presented in the contributions collected in this special issue clearly demonstrate that diamond occupies a very special place in modern science and technology. After decades of research, this structurally very simple material still poses many intriguing scientific questions and technological challenges. It seems undoubted that diamond will remain the center of attraction for many researchers for many years to come.
Journal of the Geological Society of India, Vol. 93, 2, pp. 157-162.
Abstract: The eastern Dharwar craton (EDC) of the southern Indian Shield hosts five geochronologically distinct Paleoproterozoic mafic dyke swarms emplaced at 2.37, 2.21, 2.18, 2.08 and 1.89 Ga. Trace element geochemical data available for these dykes display the ‘arc signals’ viz., negative Nb-Ta anomalies and elevated Zr/Nb, Th/Yb and Th/Ta values, which are conventionally interpreted to represent involvement of subduction in their genesis. It is shown that these ‘arc signals’ resulted from coupled assimilation and fractional crystallization (AFC) processes that modified these mantle-derived melts. Since, mafic dykes under study are highly evolved, an attempt has been made to estimate (using PRIMELTS2.xls software) the composition of the primary magma from the most primitive sample available from the 2.21 and 2.37 Ga swarms. The mantle potential temperature derived from the estimated primary magma compositions revealed anomalously hot mantle source regions compared to the known ambient upper mantle temperatures during Paleoproterozoic, thus implying the possible involvement of thermal plumes in their genesis.
Abstract: The determination of the chemical composition of meimechites which are unique and rarely occurring ultra-high MgO igneous rocks can be complicated due to their porphyric structure, the presence of acid-insoluble minerals, and wide variation of major and trace element contents. In the present study the optimal analytical strategy based on a combination of X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) methods was suggested for the determination of the elemental composition of meimechites. The preparation of glass beads using a lithium tetraborate and metaborate mixture proved to be suitable for the XRF determination of major oxides. A comparative study of the sample decomposition procedures for the determination of trace elements by ICP-MS clearly showed that fusion with lithium metaborate was the most appropriate sample preparation technique for complete digestion of meimechites. The open beaker HF-HNO3-HClO4 acid digestion was insufficient because the results for Nb, Ta, V, Zr, Cr and Hf were underestimated by 20-80% compared to those determined using the fusion method due to the presence in the rock samples of acid-resistant accessory minerals. It is shown that using analytical data from acid digestion may lead to erroneous interpretation of geochemical data.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 286-7.
Abstract: Many gemologists know that there are important technological applications for laboratory-grown diamonds; however, it is less understood how broad the nongemological uses really are or why diamond is the ideal material for each use. This presentation will review modern industrial applications of laboratory-grown diamonds, including surgical tools, tumor detection, orthopedic implants, water purification, industrial tooling, compound refractive energy focusing, Fresnel lenses, high-pressure anvils (figure 1), sound reproduction, deep space communication, high-power electronics, quantum computing, long-term data storage, AC/DC conversion, and electrical vehicle efficiency. These applications are rooted in the less frequently discussed gemological properties of diamonds that make it a “supermaterial.” The biological, thermal, mechanical, optical, acoustic, and electrochemical properties of diamond will be introduced. Specific properties discussed will include thermal conductivity, Young’s modulus, breakdown field, band gap, and saturated electron drift velocity. Furthermore, the utility of diamond defects such as nitrogen vacancies and boron will be explored. In addition to discussions about functional monocrystal diamonds, two unnatural forms of functional diamond will be discussed: polycrystalline diamond (PCD) and diamond-like carbon (DLC). Many of the functional diamonds discussed, including PCD and DLC, will be available for hands-on examination as part of the presentation.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 270.
Abstract: For the past 50 years, the majority of diamond research has focused on diamonds derived from the lithospheric mantle root underpinning ancient continents. While lithospheric diamonds are currently thought to form the mainstay of the world’s economic production, the continental mantle lithosphere reservoir comprises only ~2.5% of the total volume of Earth. Earth’s upper mantle and transition zone, extending from beneath the lithosphere to a depth of 670 km, occupy a volume approximately 10 times larger. Diamonds from these deeper parts of the earth—“superdeep diamonds”—are more abundant than previously thought. They appear to dominate the high-value large diamond population that comes to market. Recent measurements of the carbon and nitrogen isotope composition of superdeep diamonds from Brazil and southern Africa, using in situ ion probe techniques, show that they document the deep recycling of volatile elements (C, N, O) from the surface of the earth to great depths, at least as deep as the uppermost lower mantle. The recycled crust signatures in these superdeep diamonds suggest their formation in regions of subducting oceanic plates, either in the convecting upper mantle or the transition zone plus lower mantle. It is likely that the deep subduction processes involved in forming these diamonds also transport surficial hydrogen into the deep mantle. This notion is supported by the observation of a high-pressure olivine polymorph—ringwoodite—with close to saturation levels of water. Hence, superdeep diamonds document a newly recognized, voluminous “diamond factory” in the deep earth, likely producing diamonds right up to the present day. Such diamonds also provide uniquely powerful views of how crustal material is recycled into the deep earth to replenish the mantle’s inventory of volatile elements. The increasing recognition of superdeep diamonds in terms of their contribution to the diamond economy opens new horizons in diamond exploration. Models are heavily influenced by the search for diamonds associated with highly depleted peridotite (dunites and harzburgites). Such harzburgitic diamonds were formed in the Archean eon (>2.5 Ga) within lithospheric mantle of similar age. It is currently unclear what the association is between these ancient lithospheric diamonds and large, high-value diamonds, but it is likely a weak one. In contrast, the strong association between superdeep diamonds and these larger stones opens up a new paradigm because the available age constraints for superdeep diamonds indicate that they are much younger than the ancient lithospheric diamonds. Their younger age means that superdeep diamonds may be formed in non-Archean mantle, or mantle that has been strongly overprinted by post-Archean events that would otherwise be deemed unfavorable for the preservation of ancient lithospheric diamonds. An additional factor in the search for new diamond deposits is the increasing recognition that major diamond deposits can form in lithospheric mantle that is younger than—or experienced major thermal disruption since—the canonical 2.5 billion years usually thought to be most favorable for diamond production. This talk will explore these new dimensions in terms of the potential for discovering new diamond sources in “unconventional” settings.
Abstract: Mechanisms of Precambrian orogeny and their contribution to the origin of ultrahigh temperature granulites, granite-greenstone terranes and net crustal growth remain debatable. Here, we use 2D numerical models with 150 °C higher mantle temperatures compared to present day conditions to investigate physical and petrological controls of Precambrian orogeny during forced continental plates convergence. Numerical experiments show that convergence between two relatively thin blocks of continental lithosphere with fertile mantle creates a short-lived cold collisional belt that later becomes absorbed by a long-lived thick and flat ultra-hot accretionary orogen with Moho temperatures of 700-1100 °C. The orogen underlain by hot partially molten depleted asthenospheric mantle spreads with plate tectonic rates towards the incoming lithospheric block. The accretionary orogeny is driven by delamination of incoming lithospheric mantle with attached mafic lower crust and invasion of the hot partially molten asthenospheric wedge under the accreted crust. A very fast convective cell forms atop the subducting slab, in which hot asthenospheric mantle rises against the motion of the slab and transports heat towards the moving orogenic front. Juvenile crustal growth during the orogeny is accompanied by net crustal loss due to the lower crust subduction. Stability of an ultra-hot orogeny is critically dependent on the presence of relatively thin and warm continental lithosphere with thin crust and dense fertile mantle roots subjected to plate convergence. Increased thickness of the continental crust and subcontinental lithospheric mantle, pronounced buoyancy of the lithospheric roots, and decreased mantle and continental Moho temperature favor colder and more collision-like orogenic styles with thick crust, reduced magmatic activity, lowered metamorphic temperatures, and decreased degree of crustal modification. Our numerical modeling results thus indicate that different types of orogens (cold, mixed-hot and ultra-hot) could be created at the same time in the Early Earth, depending on compositional and thermal structures of interacting continental blocks.
Abstract: The South American platform is the stable part of the South American plate, unaffected by the orogenesis of the Andes and the Caribbean. Its basement is composed of Archean and Proterozoic cratonic blocks amalgamated by mobile belts, and can be separated in two large domains or continental masses: 1) The Amazonian, Northwest-west portion, including the Amazonian craton, related to the Laurentia supercontinent; and 2) the extra-Amazonian, Central-southeast or Brasiliano domain, related to West Gondwana, formed of several paleocontinental fragments, where the São Francisco and Rio de La Plata cratons and the Paranapanema block are the largest. It has been suggested that these two domains are separated by the Transbrasiliano Lineament to the south and the Araguaia Fold Belt to the north. Teleseismic P waves from 4,989 earthquakes recorded by 339 stations operated mainly in Brazil in the last 25 years have been used for relative-time tomography. The Amazonian domain is predominantly characterized by higher velocities. The SW (extra-Amazonian) domain is characterized by several blocks with high velocities, such as in and around the Sao Francisco Craton, and the Paranapanema block. Results of P-wave travel time tomography allowed to observe a strong low-velocity anomaly near 100-200 km depth following the Araguaia-Paraguay fold belt. This strong low-velocity anomaly could be considered the limit between these two domains, reaching lithospheric depths, and does not necessarily follow the Transbrasiliano lineament, especially in its southern portion.
Abstract: The abstracts broadly summarises petrological aspects of kimberlite clan rocks so far discovered in the Telangana state in light of recent finds emphasising the context for diamond exploration in the state. This was presented in the '1st Telangana Science Congress (TSSC)-2018' organised by the Telangana Academy of Science, Hyderabad and National institute of Technology, Warangal (22-24, December, 2018).
Abstract: The phase relations in the system Na2CO3-CaCO3-MgCO3 have been studied at 3?GPa and 700-1285?°C using a Kawai-type multianvil press. At 700?°C, the system has five intermediate compounds: dolomite, Mg-bearing Na2Ca4(CO3)5 burbankite, Na2Ca3(CO3)4, Na4Ca(CO3)3, and eitelite. As temperature increases to 800?°C, the system is complicated by an appearance of Ca-dolomite and Mg-bearing shortite, while Na2Ca4(CO3)5 disappears. At 850?°C, Na4Ca(CO3)3 decomposes to produce Na carbonate and nyerereite. The latter melts incongruently at 875?±?25?°C to form Na2Ca3(CO3)4. Incongruent melting of eitelite to magnesite and liquid, occurs at 925?±?25 °C. Mg-bearing shortite melts incongruently at 950?±?50?°C, producing Na2Ca3(CO3)4 and liquid. Na2Ca3(CO3)4 disappears at 1000?°C via incongruent melting to calcite and liquid. The liquidus projection of the studied ternary system has seven primary solidification phase regions for magnesite, dolomite-calcite solid solutions, Na2Ca3(CO3)4, Mg-bearing shortite, nyerereite, eitelite, and Na carbonate. The primary solidification regions are separated by five peritectic and three cotectic monovariant lines. The system has six ternary peritectic points and one minimum on the liquidus at 850?°C and 52Na2CO3·48(Ca0.62Mg0.38)CO3. The minimum point resembles a eutectic controlled by a four-phase reaction, by which, on cooling, a liquid transforms into three solid phases: shortite, Na carbonate, and eitelite. Since the system has a single eutectic at 3?GPa, there is no thermal barrier preventing continuous liquid fractionation from Na-poor toward Na-rich dolomitic compositions more alkaline than eitelite and nyerereite. Considering the present results and previous data, a range of Na-Ca-Mg double carbonates changes in the following sequence upon pressure and temperature increase: Na2Ca2(CO3)3 (Amm2) shortite, Na2Ca(CO3)2 (P21ca) nyerereite, Na2Mg(CO3)2 () eitelite (0.1?GPa)???Na2(Ca0.97-0.98Mg0.02-0.03)4(CO3)5 (P63mc), Na2(Ca=0.91Mg=0.09)3(CO3)4 (P1n1), Na2(Ca?=?0.81?Mg0=0.19)(CO3)2 () nyerereite, Na2(Ca0.77-0.93Mg0.07-0.23)2(CO3)3 (Amm2) shortite, Na4(Ca0.90-0.98Mg0.02-0.10)(CO3)3 (Ia3d), Na2(Mg=0.9Ca0=0.1)(CO3)2 (P21ca) eitelite (3?GPa)???Na2(Ca=0.87Mg0=0.13)4(CO3)5 (P63mc), Na2(Ca=0.89Mg=0.11)3(CO3)4 (P1n1), Na4(Ca?=?0.7?Mg0=0.3)(CO3)3 (Ia3d), Na2(Mg=0.92Ca0=0.08)(CO3)2 (P21ca) eitelite (6?GPa). Using the present results at 3?GPa and previous data at 6?GPa in the Na2CO3-CaCO3-MgCO3 system, we constrained isopleths of the Na2CO3 content in melt coexisting with Ca-Mg carbonates. We found that the cratonic geotherms cross the isopleths so that the carbonatite melt percolating upward via the continental mantle lithosphere should become progressively enriched in Na, evolving from alkali-poor dolomitic composition at depths exceeding 200?km toward sodic dolomitic with the ~52?mol% Na2CO3 at 80-120?km depths.
University of Alberta, Msc thesis https://doi.org/ 10.7939/R3C53FH3P available
Canada, Northwest Territories
Abstract: The Central Mackenzie Valley (CMV) area of Northwest Territories is underlain by Precambrian basement belonging to the North American Craton. The potential of this area to host kimberlitic diamond deposits is relatively high judging from the seismologically-defined lithospheric thickness, the age of basement rocks (2.2-1.7 Ga) and presence of kimberlite indicator minerals (KIMs) in Quaternary sediments. This study presents new major, minor and trace element chemistry data for kimberlite indicator mineral (KIM) grains collected from two regions within the Central Mackenzie Valley, Northwest Territories. The data, along with new kimberlite-related rutile U-Pb ages and ilmenite Hf isotopic compositions are used to constrain the composition and thickness of the lithospheric mantle sampled by the source kimberlite(s) and age of these kimberlites for these two regions. In the processed samples, peridotitic garnets dominate (> 25 % at each location) while eclogitic garnet is almost absent in both regions (< 1 % each). KIM chemistry for the Horn Plateau indicates significant diamond potential, with a strong similarity to KIM systematics from the Central and Western Slave Craton. The most significant issue to resolve in assessing the local diamond potential is the degree to which KIM chemistry reflects local and/or distal kimberlite bodies. Radiogenic isotope analysis of detrital kimberlite-related CMV oxide grains requires at least two broad age groups for eroded source kimberlites. Statistical analysis of the data suggests that it is probable that some of these KIMs were derived from primary and/or secondary sources within the CMV area, while others may have been transported to the area from the east-northeast by Pleistocene glacial and/or glaciofluvial systems. At this stage, KIM chemistry does not allow the exact location of the kimberlitic source(s) to be constrained.
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 242, pp. 165-190.
United States, Arizona
Abstract: Scientists have known for a long time that various types of rock conduct current differently and that these differences are even more pronounced as the temperatures and pressures increase farther beneath Earth’s surface. They also know that unusual changes in electrical conductivity can signal activity down below, like migrating magma or a release of trapped fluids. Thus, electrical measurements can uncover clues about the events that trigger earthquakes and volcanic eruptions here on the surface. They can also give clues to the mantle’s structure and dynamics. However, interpreting these signals is far from straightforward. Earth scientists increasingly use electrical observations made in the field to image Earth’s crust and mantle, in particular, at subduction zones and mid-ocean ridges. An effective means of interpreting these electrical images and placing them into context with other geological observations is key to translating raw data into usable knowledge. Such knowledge includes assessing potential hazards by investigating, for example, links between fluid release and earthquake generation or the production and transport of magmatic melt from its source region to an eventual eruption. SIGMELTS is a freely available app that helps to characterize electrically conductive or resistive features detected at depth using electromagnetic observations. The objective of this Web application is to facilitate the elaboration of models of the electrical properties of crust and mantle materials, which, in turn, is used to improve the interpretation of field electromagnetic observations. A new version of SIGMELTS is now available.
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, Vol. 173, 12, pp. 106-
Russia, Kola Peninsula
deposit - Afrikanda
Abstract: Perovskite is a common accessory mineral in a variety of mafic and ultramafic rocks, but perovskite deposits are rare and studies of perovskite ore deposits are correspondingly scarce. Perovskite is a key rock-forming mineral and reaches exceptionally high concentrations in olivinites, diverse clinopyroxenites and silicocarbonatites in the Afrikanda alkaline-ultramafic complex (Kola Peninsula, NW Russia). Across these lithologies, we classify perovskite into three types (T1-T3) based on crystal morphology, inclusion abundance, composition, and zonation. Perovskite in olivinites and some clinopyroxenites is represented by fine-grained, equigranular, monomineralic clusters and networks (T1). In contrast, perovskite in other clinopyroxenites and some silicocarbonatites has fine- to coarse-grained interlocked (T2) and massive (T3) textures. Electron backscatter diffraction reveals that some T1 and T2 perovskite grains in the olivinites and clinopyroxenites are composed of multiple subgrains and may represent stages of crystal rotation, coalescence and amalgamation. We propose that in the olivinites and clinopyroxenites, these processes result in the transformation of clusters and networks of fine-grained perovskite crystals (T1) to mosaics of more coarse-grained (T2) and massive perovskite (T3). This interpretation suggests that sub-solidus processes can lead to the development of coarse-grained and massive perovskite. A combination of characteristic features identified in the Afrikanda perovskite (equigranular crystal mosaics, interlocked irregular-shaped grains, and massive zones) is observed in other oxide ore deposits, particularly in layered intrusions of chromitites and intrusion-hosted magnetite deposits and suggests that the same amalgamation processes may be responsible for some of the coarse-grained and massive textures observed in oxide deposits worldwide.
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 243, pp. 133-148.
Abstract: Chemical exchange between seawater and the oceanic crust is thought to play a significant role in the regulation of the global magnesium (Mg) cycle, yet relatively little is known about the rates and mechanisms of Mg exchange in these crustal environments. In this study we experimentally characterize the extent, and nature, of Mg isotope fractionation during the carbonation and serpentinization of olivine (one of the principal minerals found in ultramafic rocks) under hydrothermal conditions. Olivine alteration was found to be incongruent, with the reactant fluid composition varying according to the extent of olivine dissolution and the precipitation of secondary minerals. In mildly acid water (pH?~?6.5), olivine dissolved to form Mg-Fe carbonate solid solutions and minor chrysotile. Upon carbonation and a decrease of CO2 in the water, the pH increased to >8, with chrysotile and brucite becoming the dominant alteration minerals. The Mg-rich carbonates preferentially incorporated lighter Mg isotopes, resulting in a ~0.5‰ increase of the d26Mg composition of the fluid relative to olivine during the initial carbonation and serpentinization reactions. This was followed by a decrease in d26Mg under higher pH conditions associated with the formation of brucite. Our experimental and modeling results therefore demonstrate that the d26Mg composition of fluids involved in olivine alteration reflect the type and quantity of secondary Mg minerals formed, which in turn depend on the pH and CO2 concentration of the water. Comparison of these results with natural groundwaters and geothermal waters from basaltic terrains indicate that the d26Mg composition of natural waters are likely to also be controlled by mafic rock dissolution and the preferential incorporation of isotopically light Mg into carbonates and isotopically heavy Mg into Mg-Si minerals. Together, these findings improve our understanding of Mg isotope systematics during water-rock interaction, and suggest that d26Mg may be a useful tool for tracing reactions that are critical to geological CO2 sequestration.
Abstract: How far will Plan S spread? Since the September 2018 launch of the Europe-backed program to mandate immediate open access (OA) to scientific literature, 16 funders in 13 countries have signed on. That's still far shy of Plan S's ambition: to convince the world's major research funders to require immediate OA to all published papers stemming from their grants. Whether it will reach that goal depends in part on details that remain to be settled, including a cap on the author charges that funders will pay for OA publication. But the plan has gained momentum: In December 2018, China stunned many by expressing strong support for Plan S. This month, a national funding agency in Africa is expected to join, possibly followed by a second U.S. funder. Others around the world are considering whether to sign on. Plan S, scheduled to take effect on 1 January 2020, has drawn support from many scientists, who welcome a shake-up of a publishing system that can generate large profits while keeping taxpayer-funded research results behind paywalls. But publishers (including AAAS, which publishes Science) are concerned, and some scientists worry that Plan S could restrict their choices.
Abstract: Yellow cuboid diamonds are commonly found in diamondiferous alluvial placers of the Northeastern Siberian platform. The internal structure of these diamonds have been studied by optical microscopy, X-Ray topography (XRT) and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) techniques. Most of these crystals have typical resorption features and do not preserve primary growth morphology. The resorption leads to an evolution from an originally cubic shape to a rounded tetrahexahedroid. Specific fibrous or columnar internal structure of yellow cuboid diamonds has been revealed. Most of them are strongly deformed. Misorientations of the crystal lattice, found in the samples, may be caused by strains from their fibrous growth or/and post-growth plastic deformation.
Geochemical Perspectives Letters, Vol. 9, pp. 6-10. 10.7185/geochemlet.1830
Abstract: The origin of the peridotites that form cratonic mantle roots is a central issue in understanding the history and survival of Earth’s oldest continents. A long-standing hypothesis holds that the unusual bulk compositions of some cratonic peridotites stem from their origin as subducted oceanic serpentinite, dehydrated during subduction to form rigid buoyant keels (Schulze, 1986; Canil and Lee, 2009). We present oxygen isotope data from 93 mantle peridotites from five different Archean cratons to evaluate their possible origin as serpentinites. Cratonic mantle peridotite shows remarkably uniform d18O values, identical to modern MORB-source mantle, that do not vary with bulk rock Si-enrichment or Ca-depletion. These data clearly conflict with any model for cratonic lithosphere that invokes serpentinite as a protolith for cratonic peridotite, and place additional constraints on cratonic mantle origins. We posit that the uniform d18O was produced by sub-arc and/or MOR depletion processes and that the Si-enriched nature of some samples is unlikely to be related to slab melt infiltration. Instead, we suggest a peridotitic source of Si-enrichment, derived from ascending mantle melts, or a water-fluxed depleted mantle. These variably Si-enriched, cratonic mantle protoliths were then collisionally compressed into the thick cratonic roots that have protected Earth’s oldest continental crust for over 2.5 Gyr.
Abstract: Impactors of different types and sizes can produce a final crater of the same diameter on a planet under certain conditions. We derive the condition for such “isocrater impacts” from scaling laws, as well as relations that describe how the different impactors affect the interior of the target planet; these relations are also valid for impacts that are too small to affect the mantle. The analysis reveals that in a given isocrater impact, asteroidal impactors produce anomalies in the interior of smaller spatial extent than cometary or similar impactors. The differences in the interior could be useful for characterizing the projectile that formed a given crater on the basis of geophysical observations and potentially offer a possibility to help constrain the demographics of the ancient impactor population. A series of numerical models of basin-forming impacts on Mercury, Venus, the Moon, and Mars illustrates the dynamical effects of the different impactor types on different planets. It shows that the signature of large impacts may be preserved to the present in Mars, the Moon, and Mercury, where convection is less vigorous and much of the anomaly merges with the growing lid. On the other hand, their signature will long have been destroyed in Venus, whose vigorous convection and recurring lithospheric instabilities obliterate larger coherent anomalies.
Abstract: Isotopic and trace element variations within single diamond crystals are widely known from both natural stones and synthetic crystals. A number of processes can produce variations in carbon isotope composition and nitrogen abundance in the course of diamond crystallization. Here, we present evidence of carbon and nitrogen fractionation related to the growing surfaces of a diamond. We document that difference in the carbon isotope composition between cubic and octahedral growth sectors is solvent-dependent and varies from 0.7‰ in a carbonate system to 0.4‰ in a metal-carbon system. Ab initio calculations suggest up to 4‰ instantaneous 13C depletion of cubic faces in comparison to octahedral faces when grown simultaneously. Cubic growth sectors always have lower nitrogen abundance in comparison to octahedral sectors within synthetic diamond crystals in both carbonate and metal-carbon systems. The stability of any particular growth faces of a diamond crystal depends upon the degree of carbon association in the solution. Octahedron is the dominant form in a high-associated solution while the cube is the dominant form in a low-associated solution. Fine-scale data from natural crystals potentially can provide information on the form of carbon, which was present in the growth media.
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, Vol. 19, 12, pp. 4858-4875.
Abstract: The Earth's global system of tectonic plates move over a thin, weak channel (flow-viscosity zone) in the mantle immediately underlying the plates. This weak channel is commonly referred to as the asthenosphere, and its presence accounts for a number of important Earth observations, including isostasy (e.g., support for the uplift of large mountain ranges), the shape of the Earth's gravity field, the response of the Earth's surface to the removal of large ice sheets (postglacial rebound), and the relationship between plate motions and underlying thermal convection in the mantle. In this paper, we show that these phenomena can be understood in terms of a single unifying parameter consisting of the viscosity contrast between the asthenosphere and the underlying mantle, and the cube of the thickness of the asthenosphere. We propose to call this the "Cathles parameter" in recognition of the author who first recognized its importance in postglacial rebound studies.
Abstract: First-principles calculations are performed to investigate vacancy formation and migration in the B2 phase of MgO. Defect energetics suggest the importance of intrinsic non-interacting vacancy pairs, even though the extrinsic vacancy concentration might govern atomic diffusion in the B2 phase of MgO. The enthalpies of ionic vacancy migration are generally found to decrease across the B1-B2 phase transition around a pressure of 500?GPa. It is shown that this enthalpy change induces a substantial increase in the rate of vacancy diffusion in MgO of almost four orders of magnitude (~104) when the B1 phase transforms into the B2 phase with increasing pressure. If plastic deformation is controlled by vacancy diffusion, mantle viscosity is expected to decrease in relation to this enhanced diffusion rate in MgO across the B1-B2 transition in the interior of Earth-like large exoplanets. Our results of atomic relaxations near the defects suggest that diffusion controlled creep viscosity may generally decrease across high-pressure phase transitions with increasing coordination number. Plastic flow and resulting mantle convection in the interior of these super-Earths may be therefore less sluggish than previously thought.
Abstract: Earth's continents drift in response to the force balance between mantle flow and plate tectonics and actively change the plate-mantle coupling. Thus, the patterns of continental drift provide relevant information on the coupled evolution of surface tectonics, mantle structure and dynamics. Here, we investigate rheological controls on such evolutions and use surface tectonic patterns to derive inferences on mantle viscosity structure on Earth. We employ global spherical models of mantle convection featuring self-consistently generated plate tectonics, which are used to compute time-evolving continental configurations for different mantle and lithosphere structures. Our results highlight the importance of the wavelength of mantle flow for continental configuration evolution. Too strong short-wavelength components complicate the aggregation of large continental clusters, while too stable very long wavelength flow tends to enforce compact supercontinent clustering without reasonable dispersal frequencies. Earth-like continental drift with episodic collisions and dispersals thus requires a viscosity structure that supports long-wavelength flow, but also allows for shorter-wavelength contributions. Such a criterion alone is a rather permissive constraint on internal structure, but it can be improved by considering continental-oceanic plate speed ratios and the toroidal-poloidal partitioning of plate motions. The best approximation of Earth's recent tectonic evolution is then achieved with an intermediate lithospheric yield stress and a viscosity structure in which oceanic plates are ~ 103 × more viscous than the characteristic upper mantle, which itself is ~ 100-200 × less viscous than the lowermost mantle. Such a structure causes continents to move on average ~ (2.2 ± 1.0) × slower than oceanic plates, consistent with estimates from present-day and from plate reconstructions. This does not require a low viscosity asthenosphere globally extending below continental roots. However, this plate speed ratio may undergo strong fluctuations on timescales of several 100 Myr that may be linked to periods of enhanced continental collisions and are not yet captured by current tectonic reconstructions.
Abstract: In this paper an improved prediction-area plot has been developed. This type of plot includes performance measures similar to other existing methods (receiver operating characteristics, success-rate curves and ordinary prediction-area plots) and, therefore, offers a reliable method for evaluating the performance of spatial evidence maps and prospectivity models. To demonstrate the reliability of the improved prediction-area plot proposed, we investigated the benefits of augmented targeting criteria through remotely sensed exploration features, compared to only geological map-derived criteria, for mineral prospectivity analysis using as an example the podiform chromite deposits of the Sabzevar Ophiolite Belt, Iran. The application of the newly developed improved prediction-area plot to the prospectivity models generated in this study indicated that the augmented targeting criteria by using remote sensing data perform better than non-updated geological map-derived criteria, and that model effectiveness can be improved by using an integrated approach that entails geologic remote sensing.
Gondwana Research, Vol. 70, pp. 1-24. doi:10.1016/ j.gr.2018.12.005
South America, Brazil
Abstract: The study of Paleoproterozoic rocks is crucial for understanding Earth's tectonic evolution during the time when most of the modern crust and ore deposits were formed. The rocks of the Brazilian Amazonian Craton record some of the most-complete and best-preserved Paleoproterozoic magmatic and volcanic episodes on Earth. Following previous investigations, we present new lithofaciological and stratigraphic records of the felsic rocks of the Tapajós Mineral Province (TMP) (~2-1.88?Ga) and the São Felix do Xingú region (SFX) (~1.88?Ga) which, combined with new petrological and geochronological data, help providing a more complete understanding of the tectonic, magmatic and volcanological evolution of the Amazonian Craton. This magmatism/volcanism is thought to be formed in a late-/post-orogenic to extentional regime confirmed by the new geochemical data presented here. The transition from late-convergent to extensional tectonic setting could register the beginning of the taphrogenesis that marked the Amazonian Craton throughout the Mesoproterozoic. The volcanological approach of this contribution can serve as a strategy for the modelling of the evolution of Precambrian volcano-sedimentary basins around the world. The large amount of rocks analyzed are divided into primary and secondary volcaniclastic products depending on if they resulted from a direct volcanic activity (pyroclastic) or processes that reworked pyroclastic fragments. Furthermore, the deposits are subdivided into massive and stratified, depending on their primary mechanisms of transport and emplacement. By confirming the results from previous studies, our study permits to depict a more precise paleo-environmental picture of the processes that occurred in the Amazonian Craton during the Late-Paleoproterozoic. In particular, the presence of large regional-scale fissural systems and caldera collapses produced large silicic explosive volcanic eruptions, also accompanied by the emission of large volume effusive products. Although studies on the Amazonian Craton are still scarce and controversial, the present study provides new evidence that this volcanism may have formed one of the largest Silicic Large Igneous Provinces (SLIP) on earth. Our data also confirm that at least two major Paleoproterozoic periods of formation of volcanic rocks exist in the Amazonian craton. This point is of great relevance for any future interpretation of the geological evolution of this craton.
Abstract: Self-consistent geodynamic modeling that includes melting is challenging as the chemistry of the source rocks continuously changes as a result of melt extraction. Here, we describe a new method to study the interaction between physical and chemical processes in an uprising heterogeneous mantle plume by combining a geodynamic code with a thermodynamic modeling approach for magma generation and evolution. We pre-computed hundreds of phase diagrams, each of them for a different chemical system. After melt is extracted, the phase diagram with the closest bulk rock chemistry to the depleted source rock is updated locally. The petrological evolution of rocks is tracked via evolving chemical compositions of source rocks and extracted melts using twelve oxide compositional parameters. As a result, a wide variety of newly generated magmatic rocks can in principle be produced from mantle rocks with different degrees of depletion. The results show that a variable geothermal gradient, the amount of extracted melt and plume excess temperature affect the magma production and chemistry by influencing decompression melting and the depletion of rocks. Decompression melting is facilitated by a shallower lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary and an increase in the amount of extracted magma is induced by a lower critical melt fraction for melt extraction and/or higher plume temperatures. Increasing critical melt fractions activates the extraction of melts triggered by decompression at a later stage and slows down the depletion process from the metasomatized mantle. Melt compositional trends are used to determine melting related processes by focusing on K2O/Na2O ratio as indicator for the rock type that has been molten. Thus, a step-like-profile in K2O/Na2O might be explained by a transition between melting metasomatized and pyrolitic mantle components reproducible through numerical modeling of a heterogeneous asthenospheric mantle source. A potential application of the developed method is shown for the West Eifel volcanic field.
Abstract: Mobilistic plate-tectonic interpretation of Precambrian orogens requires that two conjoined crustal blocks may derive from distant portions of the globe. Nonetheless, many proposed Precambrian cratonic juxtapositions are broadly similar to those of younger times (so-called “strange attractors”), raising the specter of bias in their construction. We evaluated the possibility that the Congo and Kalahari cratons (Africa) were joined together prior to their amalgamation along the Damara-Lufilian-Zambezi orogen in Cambrian time by studying diabase dikes of the Huila-Epembe swarm and sills in the southern part of the Congo craton in Angola and in Namibia. We present geologic, U-Pb geochronologic, and paleomagnetic evidence showing that these two cratons were directly juxtaposed at ca. 1.1 Ga, but in a slightly modified relative orientation compared to today. Recurring persistence in cratonic connections, with slight variations from one supercontinent to the next, may signify a style of supercontinental transition similar to the northward motion of Gondwana fragments across the Tethys-Indian oceanic tract, reuniting in Eurasia.
Abstract: The original connections of Archean cratons are becoming traceable due to an increasing amount of paleomagnetic data and refined magmatic barcodes. The Uauá block of the northern São Francisco craton may represent a fragment of a major Archean craton. Here, we report new paleomagnetic data from the 2.62 Ga Uauá tholeiitic mafic dyke swarm of the Uauá block in the northern São Francisco craton, Eastern Brazil. Our paleomagnetic results confirm the earlier results for these units, but our interpretation differs. We suggest that the obtained characteristic remanent magnetization for the 2.62 Ga swarm is of primary origin, supported by a provisionally-positive baked contact test. The corresponding paleomagnetic pole (25.2°N, 330.5°E, A95 = 8.1° N = 20) takes the present northern part of the São Francisco craton to moderate latitudes. Based on the comparison of the paleolatitudes of cratons with high-quality paleomagnetic data and magmatic barcodes, we suggest that the northern part of the São Francisco craton could have been part of the proposed Supervaalbara supercraton during the Archean. Supervaalbara is proposed as including (but not limited to) the part of the São Francisco craton as well as the Superior, Wyoming, Kola + Karelia, Zimbabwe, Kaapvaal, Tanzania, Yilgarn, and Pilbara cratons.
Srivastava: Dyke Swarms of the World: a Modern Perspective, Springer, researchgate 56p. Pdf
Abstract: We present dyke swarm maps generated using Google Earth™ images, ArcGIS™, field data, and available geochronological ages of Neoarchean-Mesoproterozoic (ranging in age from ~2.80 to ~1.10 Ga) mafic dyke swarms and associated magmatic units of the different Archean cratons of the Indian shield which represent the plumbing system of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs). The spatial and temporal distributions together with the trends of the dyke swarms provide important informations about geodynamics. Twenty four dyke swarms (17 have been precisely dated), mostly mafic in nature, have been mapped from the different cratons and named/re-named to best reflect their location, trend, distribution and distinction from other swarms. We have identified 14 distinct magmatic events during the Neoarchean-Mesoproterozoic in the Indian shield. These intraplate magmatic events (many of LIP scale) of the Indian shield and their matches with coeval LIPs on other crustal blocks suggest connections of the Indian shield within known supercontinents, such as Kenorland/Superia (~2.75-2.07 Ga), Columbia/Nuna (1.90-1.38 Ga), and Rodinia (1.20-0.72 Ga). However, further detailed U-Pb geochronology and associated paleomagnetism are required to come to any definite constraints on the position of the Indian cratons within these supercontinents.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 506, pp. 1-7.
Abstract: We present a theoretical investigation, based on ab initio calculations and the quasi-harmonic approximation, on the stability properties of magnesium (MgCO3) and calcium (CaCO3) carbonates at high temperatures and pressures. The results indicate that those carbonates should be stable in the Earth's lower mantle, instead of dissociating into other minerals, in chemical environments with excess of SiO2, MgO, or MgSiO3. Therefore, considering the lower mantle chemical composition, consisting mostly of the MgSiO3 and MgO minerals, calcium and magnesium carbonates are the primary candidates as carbon hosts in that region. For the thermodynamic conditions of the mantle, the results also indicate that carbon should be primarily hosted on MgCO3, contrasting with what was found by other theoretical studies, which neglected temperature effects. Finally, the results indicate that carbon, in the form of free CO2, is unlikely in the lower mantle.
Abstract: Kimberlite magmas entrain, transport and erupt large volumes of mantle-derived olivine grains. Characteristically, the olivine crystals found in kimberlite are rounded and ellipsoidal in shape. The origin of their ellipsoidal morphologies remains somewhat enigmatic given their origin from disaggregation of lithospheric mantle rocks. Explanations include rounding by magmatic corrosion and dissolution (Kamenetsky et al. 2008; Pilbeam et al. 2013) or mechanical milling (Arndt et al. 2006; Arndt et al. 2010; Russell et al. 2012; Jones et al. 2014; Brett et al. 2015). Here, we focus on mechanical processes that operate during turbulent mantle ascent, facilitating reshaping and resurfacing of olivine. During transport orthopyroxene and other mantle minerals are assimilated by the kimberlite magma. One effect of the assimilation is to raise the melt’s SiO2 content, thereby causing a reduction in CO2 solubility and the spontaneous exsolution of a CO2-dominated fluid phase (Brooker et al. 2011; Russell et al. 2012; Moussallam et al. 2015). This assimilation-driven exsolution of a fluid phase provides a continuous decrease in density, an increase in buoyancy, and an accelerating ascent. Additionally, there is strong evidence that, during kimberlite magma ascent through the mantle lithosphere, substantial mechanical modification of the suspended cargo occurs (Jones et al. 2014; Brett et al. 2015). Brett et al. (2015) hypothesized that the ascending dyke segregates into a turbulent gas-rich head where particleparticle interactions dominate followed by a trailing tail of less gas-charged magma. This ascending dyke continually modifies its cargo from initial disaggregation to ultimately, eruption. Here, we present data from a series of novel, scaled, analogue attrition experiments that inform on the rates, efficiency and timings of mechanical modification possible during transport through the mantle lithosphere.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 510, pp. 161-172.
Abstract: Tabular intrusions are common features in the Earth's brittle crust. They exhibit a broad variety of shapes, ranging from thin sheet intrusions (sills, saucer-shaped sills, cone sheets), to more massive intrusions (domed and punched laccoliths, stocks). Such a diversity of intrusion shapes reflects different emplacement mechanisms caused by contrasting host rock and magma rheologies. Most current models of tabular intrusion emplacement assume that the host rock behaves purely elastically, whereas numerous observations show that shear failure plays a major role. In this study, we investigate the effects of the host rock's Coulomb properties on magma emplacement by integrating (1) laboratory models using dry Coulomb granular model hosts of variable strength (cohesion) and (2) limit analysis numerical models. Our results show that both sheet and massive tabular intrusions initiate as a sill, which triggers shear failure of its overburden along an inclined shear damage zone at a critical sill radius, which depends on the emplacement depth and the overburden's cohesion. Two scenarios are then possible: (1) if the cohesion of the overburden is significant, opening of a planar fracture along the precursory weakened shear damage zones to accommodate magma flow, leads to the formation of inclined sheets, or (2) if the cohesion of the overburden is negligible, the sill inflates and lifts up the overburden, which is dissected by several faults that control the growth of a massive intrusion. Finally, we derive a theoretical scaling that predicts the thickness-to-radius aspect ratios of the laboratory sheet intrusions. This theoretical prediction shows how sheet intrusion morphologies are controlled by a mechanical equilibrium between the flowing viscous magma and Coulomb shear failure of the overburden. Our study suggests that the emplacement of sheet and massive tabular intrusions are parts of the same mechanical regime, in which the Coulomb behavior of the Earth's brittle crust plays an essential role.
Journal of Metamorphic Geology, doi.org/10.1111/jmg.12465
Abstract: Partial melting of continental crust and evolution of granitic magmas are inseparably linked to the availability of H2O. In the absence of a free aqueous fluid, melting takes place at relatively high temperatures by dehydration of hydrous minerals, whereas in its presence, melting temperatures are lowered, and melting need not involve hydrous minerals. With the exception of anatexis in water-saturated environments where anhydrous peritectic minerals are absent, there is no reliable indicator that clearly identifies the presence of a free aqueous fluid during anatexis. Production of Ab-rich magmas or changes in LILE ratios, such as an increase in Sr and decrease in Rb indicating increased involvement of plagioclase, are rough guidelines to the presence of aqueous fluids. Nevertheless, all of them have caveats and cannot be unequivocally applied, allowing for the persistence of a bias in the literature towards dehydration melting. Investigation of mineral equilibria modelling of three metasedimentary protoliths of the Kangaroo Island migmatites in South Australia, shows that the main indicator for the presence of small volumes of excess water under upper amphibolite to lower granulite facies conditions (660-750°C) is the melt volume produced. Melt composition, modal content or chemical composition of peritectic minerals such as cordierite, sillimanite or garnet are relatively insensitive to the presence of free water. However, the mobility of melt during open system behaviour makes it difficult to determine the melt volume produced. We therefore argue that the presence of small volumes of excess water might be much more common than so far inferred, with large impact on the buffering of crustal temperatures and fertility, and therefore rheology of the continental crust.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 507, pp. 175-186.
Abstract: To examine how the mantle lithosphere stabilises continents, we present a synthesis of the mantle beneath Zealandia in the SW Pacific Ocean. Zealandia, Earth's “8th continent”, occurs over 4.9 M km2 and comprises a fore-arc, arc and back-arc fragment rifted from the Australia-Antarctica Gondwana margin 85 Myr ago. The oldest extant crust is ~500 Ma and the majority is Permian-Jurassic. Peridotitic rocks from most known locations reveal the underpinning mantle to comprise regional domains varying from refractory (Al2O3 < 1 wt%, olivine Mg# > 92, spinel Cr# up to 80, Pt/Ir < 1) to moderately depleted (Al2O3 = 2-4 wt%, olivine Mg# ~90.5, spinel Cr# < ~60). There is no systematic distribution of these domains relative to the former arc configuration and some refractory domains underlie crust that is largely devoid of magmatic rocks. Re-depletion Os model ages have no correlation with depletion indices but do have a distribution that is very similar to global convecting mantle. Whole rock, mineral and isotopic data are interpreted to show that the Zealandia mantle lithosphere was constructed from isotopically heterogeneous convecting mantle fragments swept into the sub-arc environment, amalgamated, and variably re-melted under low-P hydrous conditions. The paucity of mafic melt volumes in most of the overlying crust that could relate to the depleted domains requires melting to have been followed by lateral accretion either during subduction or slab rollback. Recent Australia-Pacific convergence has thickened portions of the Zealandia mantle to >160 km. Zealandia shows that the generation of refractory and/or thick continental lithosphere is not restricted to the Archean. Since Archean cratons also commonly display crust-mantle age decoupling, contain spinel peridotites with extreme Cr# numbers that require low-P hydrous melting, and often have a paucity of mafic melts relative to the extreme depletion indicated by their peridotitic roots, they too may - in part - be compilations of peridotite shallowly melted and then laterally accreted at subduction margins.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 276-7.
Abstract: Natural diamonds generally exhibit a very wide range of spectra. In polished stones, absorption along with proportions and size define perceived diamond color and thus beauty. In rough diamonds, the quantitative absorption spectrum (the “reference spectrum” in the context of this article) can be measured using an optical spectrometer through a set of parallel windows polished on a stone, so the diamond can be considered a planeparallel plate with known thickness. Polished diamonds lack the parallel facets that might allow plane-parallel plate measurement. That is why polished diamond colorimetry uses one of two approaches that have certain limitations for objective color estimation: 1) Qualitative spectrum assessment with an integrating sphere. Suppose three diamonds are polished from a yellow rough with even coloration: a round (with short ray paths), a cushion (with high color uniformity and long ray paths), and a “bow tie” marquise (with both long and short ray path areas). The spectra captured from these three stones by an integrating sphere will be completely different because the ray paths are very different. However, the quantitative absorption spectrum will be the same for all three stones, since they are cut from the same evenly colored rough. Therefore, spectrum assessment with an integrating sphere has very limited accuracy and is practical for qualitative estimations only. 2) Analysis of multiple images of a diamond made by color RGB camera. This method has low spectral resolution defined by digital camera color rendering. The camera has a smaller color gamut than the human eye, so most fancycolor diamonds are outside the color-capturing range of a digital camera. However, quantitative absorption data is very valuable for: 1) Color prediction and optimization for a new diamond after a recut process 2) Objective color assessment and description of a polished diamond This paper presents a new technology based on spectral lightemitting diodes (LEDs) and high-quality ray tracing, which together allow the reconstruction of a quantitative absorption spectrum for a polished diamond. The approach can be used for any transparent polished diamond. The recent technology prototype has a resolution of 20–60 nm, which is practical for color assessment. Figure 1 (top) presents three photorealistic diamond images: A is based on the reconstructed absorption spectrum collected from a polished diamond, B uses the reference spectrum collected in the rough stage through a pair of parallel windows, and C uses the averaged reference spectrum. Figure 1 (bottom) shows both measured quantitative absorption and reconstructed absorption spectra. This technology has the potential to ensure very close to objective color estimation for near-colorless and fancy-color polished diamonds. The reconstructed spectrum resolution can be enhanced to 10–15 nm in future devices.
Abstract: We present a global compilation of major element, as well as Re-Os isotope, data on mantle xenoliths from continental lithosphere to constrain the secular evolution of mantle depletion since the early Archean. Whereas a temporal dichotomy in the degree of mantle depletion has long been recognized in previous regional studies of mantle xenoliths, this global compilation reveals, for the first time, a smooth secular trend in mantle depletion, which is in remarkable agreement with what is expected from the secular cooling of the ambient mantle as inferred from the petrology of non-arc basalts. Depleted mantle now composing continental lithosphere is likely to have been originally formed beneath mid-ocean ridges or similar spreading environments, and a greater degree of depletion in the past can be seen as a corollary of the secular cooling of the mantle.
Abstract: The ~1100?Ma CC2 and P13 lamproite dykes in the Wajrakarur Kimberlite Field (WKF), Eastern Dharwar Craton, and ~65?Ma Kodomali and Behradih lamproite diatremes in the Mainpur Kimberlite Field (MKF), Bastar Craton share a similar mineralogy, although the proportions of individual mineral phases vary significantly. The lamproites contain phenocrysts, macrocrysts and microcrysts of olivine set in a groundmass dominated by diopside and phlogopite with a subordinate amount of spinel, perovskite, apatite and serpentine along with rare barite. K-richterite occurs as inclusion in olivine phenocrysts in Kodomali, while it is a late groundmass phase in Behradih and CC2. Mineralogically, the studied intrusions are classified as olivine lamproites. Based on microtextures and compositions, three distinct populations of olivine are recognised. The first population comprises Mg-rich olivine macrocrysts (Fo89-93), which are interpreted to be xenocrysts derived from disaggregated mantle peridotites. The second population includes Fe-rich olivine macrocrysts (Fo82-89), which are suggested to be the product of metasomatism of mantle wall-rock by precursor lamproite melts. The third population comprises phenocrysts and overgrowth rims (Fo83-92), which are clearly of magmatic origin. The Mn and Al systematics of Mg-rich olivine xenocrysts indicate an origin from diverse mantle lithologies including garnet peridotite, garnet-spinel peridotite and spinel peridotite beneath the WKF, and mostly from garnet peridotite beneath the MKF. Modelling of temperatures calculated using the Al-in-olivine thermometer for olivine xenocrysts indicates a hotter palaeogeotherm of the SCLM beneath the WKF (between 41 and 43?mW/m2) at ~1100?Ma than beneath the MKF (between 38 and 41?mW/m2) at ~65?Ma. Further, a higher degree of metasomatism of the SCLM by precursor lamproite melts has occurred beneath the WKF compared to the MKF based on the extent of CaTi enrichment in Fe-rich olivine macrocrysts. For different lamproite intrusions within a given volcanic field, lower Fo olivine overgrowth rims are correlated with higher phlogopite plus oxide mineral abundances. A comparison of olivine overgrowth rims from the two fields shows that WKF olivines with lower Fo content than MKF olivines are associated with increased XMg in spinel and phlogopite and vice versa. Melt modelling indicates relatively Fe-rich parental melt for WKF intrusions compared to MKF intrusions. The Ni/Mg and Mn/Fe systematics of magmatic olivines indicate derivation of the lamproite melts from mantle source rocks with a higher proportion of phlogopite and/or lower proportion of orthopyroxene for the WKF on the Eastern Dharwar Craton compared to those for the MKF on the Bastar Craton. This study highlights how olivine cores provide important insights into the composition and thermal state of cratonic mantle lithosphere as sampled by lamproites, including clues to elusive precursor metasomatic events. Variable compositions of olivine rims testify to the complex interplay of parental magma composition and localised crystallisation conditions including oxygen fugacity variations, co-crystallisation of groundmass minerals, and assimilation of entrained material.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 272-3.
Africa, Sierra Leone
Abstract: Diamond ages are obtained from radiogenic isotopic analysis (Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, Re-Os, and Ar-Ar) of mineral inclusions (garnet, pyroxene, and sulfide). As diamonds are xenocrysts that cannot be dated directly, the ages obtained on mineral inclusions provide a unique set of interpretive challenges to assure accuracy and account for preexisting history. A primary source of geological/mineralogical uncertainty on diamond ages is any process affecting protogenetic mineral inclusions before encapsulation in the diamond, especially if it occurred long before diamond formation. In practical application, the isotopic systems discussed above also carry with them inherent systemic uncertainties. Isotopic equilibrium is the essential condition required for the generation of a statistically robust isochron. Thus, isochron ages from multiple diamonds will record a valid and accurate age when the diamond-forming fluid promotes a large degree of isotopic equilibrium across grain scales, even for preexisting (“protogenetic”) minerals. This clearly can and does occur. Furthermore, it can be analytically tested for, and has multiple analogues in the field of dating metamorphic rocks. In cases where an age might be suspect, an age will be valid if its regression uncertainties can encompass a known and plausible geological event (especially one for which an association exists between that event and the source of diamond-forming fluids) and petrogenetic links can be established between inclusions on the isochron. Diamonds can be dated in six basic ways: 1. model ages 2. radiogenic daughter Os ages (common-Os-free) 3. single-diamond mineral isochrons 4. core to rim ages 5. multiple single-diamond isochron/array ages 6. composite isochron/array ages Model ages (1) are produced by the intersection between the evolution line for the inclusion and a reference reservoir such as the mantle. The most accurate single-diamond age is determined on a diamond with multiple inclusions (3). In this case an internal isochron can be obtained that not only establishes equilibrium among the multiple grains but also unequivocally dates the time of diamond growth. With extreme luck in obtaining the right diamond, concentric diamond growth zones visible in UV fluorescence or cathodoluminescence can sometimes be shown to constrain inclusions to occur in the core of the diamond and in the exterior at the rim. These single grains can be extracted to give a minimum growth time (4) for the diamond. In optimal situations, multiple inclusions are present within single growth zones, in single diamonds, allowing internal isochrons to be constructed for individual growth zones in single diamonds. If enough diamonds with inclusions can be obtained for study, valid ages for diamond populations can be obtained on multiple single-diamond ages that agree (5) or on composited, mineralogically similar inclusions to give an average age (6).
Abstract: Apatite can host significant levels of trace elements, including REE, within its crystal lattice, making it particularly useful for deciphering geological events and processes. This study employs hyperspectral cathodoluminescence (CL) and in situ microchemical techniques to identify and characterize various generations of apatite occurring in the phoscorites, carbonatites, and fenites of the Gifford Creek Carbonatite Complex (GCCC), Western Australia. Hyperspectral CL revealed that apatite crystals in all samples have complex internal zoning, including multiple distinct generations, with zones of relatively bright CL generally having more complex spectra compared to darker CL zones. Most of the CL spectra have prominent sharp peaks at ~1.4 eV and ~2.l eV as well as a broad peak between 2.3 eV and 3.5 eV. We relate these different peaks to individual REE activators and groups of activators, in particular Nd3+, Eu3+, Sm3+, and Ce3+. Trace element analyses of apatite confirm the relative enrichment of REE in the CL brighter zones. Most apatite generations exhibit concave-down to sinusoidal REY patterns lacking Eu anomalies, but often feature distinct negative Y anomalies. The depletion in LREE is interpreted to be due to LREE sequestration into monazite, which is relatively abundant in most of the samples. Most apatite samples contain very low Si contents, but appreciable Na, so REE incorporation into apatite was primarily via a coupled substitution of REE + Na replacing 2Ca, which is consistent with the highly alkaline, low SiO2 environment under which the apatite formed. Based on the combined trace-element signatures and CL textures, we interpret the multiple generations of apatite to reflect magmatic growth from alkaline magmas followed by recrystallization during subsequent metamorphic/hydrothermal events. The notable exception is the apatite core domains from a fenite sample that contain relatively high Si and Mn contents, low Sr, and relatively HREE-enriched REY patterns with distinct negative Eu anomalies. This apatite is interpreted to be relict from the granitic precursor to fenitization. The apatite samples also show systematic compositional variations across the GCCC, with apatite from phoscorite samples from the southeast part of the complex containing higher Sr, lower Gd/Ce, and lower ?3 values (normalized REE pattern inflections) compared to apatite from the northwest part of the complex. Recognition of these spatial variations in apatite compositions from the intra-grain micro-scale through to the district scale demonstrates the utility of combining advanced petrographic methods, such as hyperspectral CL, with micro-chemical analysis to reveal complex geological records preserved in apatite. As apatite is a common accessory mineral, these techniques may be more broadly applicable to igneous source tracing, understanding metamorphic and/or metasomatic processes, provenance studies from detrital mineral records, and studies of the evolution of ore systems.
Abstract: The Gifford Creek Carbonatite Complex (GCCC), Western Australia contains a diverse suite of alkaline igneous rocks, including magnesiocarbonatites, ferrocarbonatites, phoscorites, fenites, magmatic-hydrothermal peralkaline dykes, and ironstones. This study employs U-Pb, Sm-Nd, and Lu-Hf radiogenic isotope techniques on monazite - (Ce), fluorapatite, and zircon to determine the origin, age, and history of the GCCC. Zircon crystals found in glimmerite alteration selvages adjacent to ferrocarbonatites exhibit pyramidal crystal morphologies, eHf values of -1.8 to -4.3, high Th/U, and variable Zr/Hf, all of which are indicative of carbonatitic zircon sourced from an enriched mantle component. Uranium-Pb dating of these zircons returned a definitive magmatic age of ~1370?Ma for the GCCC. Monazite hosted in the ferrocarbonatites, phoscorites, and fenite alteration assemblages yielded variable U-Pb ages ranging from ca. 1250?Ma to 815?Ma. Neodymium isotope isochrons determined from coexisting monazite and apatite gave ages between ca. 1310?Ma to ca. 1190?Ma, but all with similar initial 143Nd/144Nd values of 0.51078-0.51087. The 1370?Ma age of the GCCC does not correspond to any known mantle plume activity, but does broadly correlate with the separation of the North China Craton from the West Australian Craton as part of the greater breakup of Nuna. The monazite and apatite eNd data illustrate that the multiple younger U-Pb monazite and Nd isotope isochron ages are not recording multiple magmatic intrusions into the complex, but rather represent partial recrystallisation/resetting of REE-bearing minerals during the protracted tectonic history of the Western Australia Craton from ~1300?Ma to 815?Ma and its involvement in the breakup of Nuna and assembly and disassembly of Rodinia. The age variability in the U-Pb and the Sm-Nd isotope systems in monazite and apatite reveal that tectonically-induced hydrothermalism can contribute to the isotopic resetting of phosphate minerals. This age resetting, if properly identified, can be used as a thorough geochronological record of tectonism affecting alkaline igneous complexes after initial magmatic emplacement.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 307.
Africa, Sierra Leone
deposit - zimmi
Abstract: Type Ib diamonds from Zimmi, Sierra Leone, have 500 My mantle residency times whose origin is best explained by rapid tectonic exhumation after continental collision to shallower depths in the mantle prior to kimberlite eruption (Smit et al., 2016). Here we present spectroscopic data for a new suite of Zimmi sulfide-bearing type Ib diamonds that allow us to evaluate the link between their rare Fancy yellow colors, the distribution of their spectroscopic features, and their unusual geological history. Cathodoluminesence (CL) imaging revealed irregular patterns with abundant deformation lamellae, associated with the diamonds’ tectonic exhumation (Smit et al., 2018). Vacancies formed during deformation were subsequently naturally annealed to form vacancy clusters, NV0/- centers, and H3 (NVN0). The brownish yellow to greenish yellow colors observed in Zimmi type Ib diamonds result from visible absorption by a combination of isolated nitrogen and deformation-related vacancy clusters (Smit et al., 2018). Color-forming centers and other spectroscopic features can all be attributed to the unique geological history of Zimmi type Ib diamonds and their rapid exhumation after formation.
Abstract: Carbon is one of the most important elements on our planet, which led the Geological Society of London to name 2019 the Year of Carbon. Diamonds are a main host for carbon in the deep earth and also have a deeper origin than all other gemstones. Whereas ruby, sapphire, and emerald form in the earth’s crust, diamonds form many hundreds of kilometers deep in the earth’s mantle. Colored gemstones tell scientists about the crust; gem diamonds tell scientists about the mantle. This makes diamonds unique among gemstones: Not only do they have great beauty, but they can also help scientists understand carbon processes deep in the earth. Indeed, diamonds are some of the only direct samples we have of the earth’s mantle. But how do diamonds grow in the mantle? While Hollywood’s depiction of Superman squeezing coal captured the public’s imagination, in reality this does not work. Coal is a crustal compound and is not found at mantle pressures. Also, we now know that diamond does not prefer to form through direct conversion of solid carbon, even though the pressure and temperature conditions under which diamond forms have traditionally been studied experimentally as the reaction of graphite to diamond. Generally, two conditions are needed for diamond formation:?Carbon must be present in a mantle fluid or melt in sufficient quantity, and the melt or fluid must become reduced enough so that oxygen does not combine with carbon (see below). But do diamonds all grow by the same mechanism? What does their origin reveal about their growth medium and their mantle host rock? Surprisingly, diamonds do not all form in the same way, but rather they form in various environments and through varying mechanisms. Through decades of study, we now understand that diamonds such as the rare blue Hope, the large colorless Cullinan, and the more common yellow “cape” diamonds all have very different origins within the deep earth.
South African Journal of Geology, Vol. 121, pp. 227-236.
Africa, South Africa
Abstract: Rocky reaches of the southeast African coastline are characterized mainly by log-spiral and headland-bound bays. Extensive fieldwork was carried out to investigate both documented and new exposures of Cretaceous beds on the southern KwaZulu-Natal and upper Eastern Cape (Transkei) coasts. Our results suggest that geological inheritance plays an important role in the contemporary rocky coast geomorphology. We offer evidence that post-Gondwana break-up mass flow channels play an important role in the present southeast African coastline morphology. Mass flow channels contain fills of incompetent Cretaceous rocks which are being preferentially eroded by prevailing marine and fluvial processes to form headland-bound embayment landforms. This study has identified an important geomorphic process for the development of the current southeast African coastline.
Abstract: Type IIb diamonds, those defined as having trace amounts of substitutional boron, are prized for their blue colors. The famous Hope diamond is a perfect example. Besides their boron content, these rare diamonds are also characterized by their general lack of nitrogen. Little is known about how type IIb diamonds form, but they are especially intriguing because boron is often regarded as a crustal element whose presence in mantle-derived diamonds is unexpected. Despite interest in type IIb diamonds as a potential geochemical tracer of mantle processes, minimal research progress has been made to date. They are simply so rare and their color so highly valued that sample access is problematic. Even when access to type IIb diamonds is granted, these diamonds are typically free of mineral or fluid inclusions that might illuminate their geological significance (e.g. Gaillou et al. 2012; King et al. 1998).
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 274.
Africa, South Africa, Angola
deposit - Cullinan, Lulo
Abstract: Many of the world’s largest and most valuable gem diamonds exhibit an unusual set of physical characteristics. For example, in addition to their conspicuously low nitrogen concentrations, diamonds such as the 3,106 ct Cullinan (type IIa) and the Hope (type IIb, boron bearing) tend to have very few or no inclusions, and in their rough state they are found as irregular shapes rather than as sharp octahedral crystals. It has long been suspected that type IIa and IIb diamonds form in a different way than most other diamonds. Over the past two years, systematic investigation of both type IIa and IIb diamonds at GIA has revealed that they sometimes contain rare inclusions from unique geological origins. Examination of more than 130 inclusion-bearing samples has established recurring sets of inclusions that clearly show many of these diamonds originate in the sublithospheric mantle, much deeper in the earth than more common diamonds from the cratonic lithosphere. We now recognize that type IIa diamonds, or more specifically, diamonds with characteristics akin to the historic Cullinan diamond (dubbed CLIPPIR diamonds), are distinguished by the occurrence of ironrich metallic inclusions. Less frequently, CLIPPIR diamonds also contain inclusions of majoritic garnet and former CaSiO3perovskite that constrain the depth of formation to within 360–750 km. The inclusions suggest that CLIPPIR diamonds belong to a unique paragenesis with an intimate link to metallic iron in the deep mantle (Smith et al., 2016, 2017). Similarly, findings from type IIb diamonds also place them in a “superdeep” sublithospheric mantle setting, with inclusions of former CaSiO3 perovskite and other high-pressure minerals, although the iron-rich metallic inclusions are generally absent (Smith et al., 2018). Altogether, these findings show that high-quality type II gem diamonds are predominantly sourced from the sublithospheric mantle, a surprising result that has refuted the notion that all superdeep diamonds are small and nongem quality. Valuable information about the composition and behavior of the deep mantle is cryptically recorded in these diamonds. CLIPPIR diamonds (figure 1) confirm that the deep mantle contains metallic iron, while type IIb diamonds suggest that boron and perhaps water can be carried from the earth’s surface down into the lower mantle by plate tectonic processes. In addition to being gemstones of great beauty, diamonds carry tremendous scientific value in their unique ability to convey information about the interior of our planet.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 510, pp. 186-197.
Abstract: Nitrogen is a key constituent of our atmosphere and forms the basis of life, but its early distribution between Earth reservoirs is not well constrained. We investigate nitrogen partitioning between metal and silicate melts over a wide range of conditions relevant for core segregation during Earth accretion, i.e. 1250-2000 °C, 1.5-5.5 GPa and oxygen fugacities of ?IW-5.9 to ?IW-1.4 (in log units relative to the iron-wüstite buffer). At 1250 °C, 1.5 GPa, ranges from 14 ± 0.1 at ?IW-1.4 to 2.0 ± 0.2 at ?IW-5, N partitioning into the core forming metal. Increasing pressure has no effect on , while increasing temperature dramatically lowers to 0.5 ± 0.15 at ?IW-4. During early core formation N was hence mildly incompatible in the metal. The partitioning data are then parameterised as a function of temperature and oxygen fugacity and used to model the evolution of N within the two early prevailing reservoirs: the silicate magma ocean and the core. Depending on the oxidation state during accretion, N either behaves lithophile or siderophile. For the most widely favoured initially reduced Earth accretion scenario, N behaves lithophile with a bulk partition coefficient of 0.17 to 1.4, leading to 500-700 ppm N in closed-system core formation models. However, core formation from a magma ocean is very likely accompanied by magma ocean degassing, the core would thus contain =100 ppm of N, and hence, does not constitute the missing N reservoir. Bulk Earth N would thus be 34-180 ppm in the absence of other suitable reservoirs, >98% N of the chondritic N have hence been lost during accretion.
Abstract: Garnet-(olivine) websterite xenoliths from the lithospheric mantle of the central and northeastern parts of the Siberian Craton contain exsolution microstructures after Si- and Ti-rich precursor garnets. We petrographically, geochemically, and thermobarometrically investigated 13 such xenoliths from the Mir, Obnazhennaya, and Udachnaya kimberlite pipes. All samples contain garnet grains with needle- to lamellae-shaped precipitates (up to 3.0?vol%), including Ti-oxide and/or pyroxene. Orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene grains host oriented lamellae of complementary Ca-rich and Ca-poor pyroxene, respectively, in addition to lamellae of garnet and Ti- and/or Cr-oxides. The common exsolution lamellae assemblages in garnet and pyroxene imply that exsolution occurred during cooling from high-temperature precursors. Exsolution is unlikely to have resulted from variations in pressure, given experimental and thermodynamic constraints. Host mineral partitioning of transition metal and lanthanide elements with different diffusivities record temperatures that range between those of local geotherms and a dry pyroxenite solidus. Inferred magmatic minimum temperatures of 1500-1700?°C satisfy the physical conditions predicted from experimental studies of the solubility of excess Si and Ti in garnet. Granular inclusions of all major minerals within each other imply an overlapping crystallisation history. The reconstructed compositions of the websterite whole-rocks have high MgO contents (15.7-35.7?wt%). A plot of MgO/SiO2 versus SiO2 forms an array, apart from the compositions of natural websterites that formed by interaction of peridotite with basaltic or siliceous melts. The array overlaps the compositional range of komatiite flows from Commondale and Barberton, South Africa, including spinifex, massive, and cumulate subtypes of komatiites. Other major and minor element abundances and ratios of the Siberian websterite suite resemble those of South African Al-enriched komatiites and are distinct from melt-rock reaction websterites. Therefore, the mineral microstructures and geochemistry of the Siberian websterites are suggestive of the former presence of a thermal anomaly. We propose that mantle plume activity or a similar form of lower-mantle ascent played a major role in stabilising cratonic nuclei before amalgamation of the present-day Siberian Craton.
Rendiconti Lincei. Scienze Fisische e Naturali *** In Eng, 8p. Pdf
Abstract: This contribution deals with two different hypotheses on the origin of superficial water on the Earth: the Endogenous hypothesis and the Exogenous one. They proposed that water either was brought to the surface of the Earth from the deep interior of the Earth or would have come to the Earth from celestial bodies that bombarded the planet billions of years ago. The evidence from recent astronomical and geological findings supporting the two alternative hypotheses will be discussed.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 271-2.
Abstract: Through research on inclusions in diamonds over the past 50 years, a detailed picture has emerged of the mineralogical and chemical composition of diamond substrates in Earth’s mantle and of the pressure-temperature conditions during diamond formation. The exact diamond-forming processes, however, are still a subject of debate. One approach to constrain diamond-forming processes is through model calculations that aim to obtain the speciation and the carbon content of carbon-hydrogen-oxygen (CHO) fluids at particular O/(O+H) ratios and pressure-temperature conditions (using GFluid of Zhang and Duan, 2010, or other thermodynamic models of fluids). The predictions of such model calculations can then be tested against carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes and nitrogen content fractionation models, based on in situ analyses across homogenously grown diamond growth layers. Based on this approach, Luth and Stachel (2014) proposed that diamond precipitation occurs predominantly from cooling or ascending CHO fluids, composed of water with minor amounts of CO2 and CH4 (which in response to decreasing temperature may react to form diamond: CO2+ CH4 ? 2C + 2H2O). The second approach focuses on constraining the diamondforming medium by studying submicrometer fluid inclusions in fibrous-clouded and, more recently, gem diamonds. Such studies established the presence of four compositional end members of inclusions: hydrous-saline, hydrous-silicic, high-Mg carbonatitic, and low-Mg carbonatitic (e.g., Navon et al., 1988; Weiss et al., 2009). Although these fluid inclusions only depict the state of the diamond-forming medium after formation, they nevertheless provide unique insights into the major and trace-element composition of such fluids that otherwise could not be obtained. The apparent dichotomy between the two approaches—models for pure CHO fluids and actual observation of impure fluids (socalled high-density fluids) in clouded and fibrous diamonds—relates to the observation that in high-pressure and high-temperature experiments close to the melting temperature of mantle rocks, hydrous fluids contain 10–50% dissolved solid components (e.g., Kessel et al., 2015). Although at this stage the impurity content in natural CHO fluids cannot be included in numerical models, the findings for clouded and fibrous diamonds are not in conflict with the isochemical diamond precipitation model. Specifically, the fact that observed high-density inclusions are often carbonate bearing is not in conflict with the relatively reducing redox conditions associated with the O/(O+H) ratios of modeled diamond-forming CHO fluids. The model for the minimum redox stability of carbonate - bearing melts of Stagno and Frost (2010) permits fluid carbonate contents of up to about 30% at such redox conditions. Although additional data need to be obtained to build a thermodynamic model for CHO fluids with dissolved silicates and to better characterize the major and trace-element composition of high-density CHO fluids in equilibrium with typical diamond substrates (the rock types peridotite and eclogite), we already see sufficient evidence to suggest that the two approaches described above are converging to a unified model of isochemical diamond precipitation from cooling or ascending high-density CHO fluids.
Researchgate preprint, 10.31223/ofs.io/uh5c8 40p. Pdf
Abstract: Over the last decades, many experimental studies have focused on the effect of CO2 on phase equilibria and melting behavior of synthetic eclogite and peridotite rocks as function of pressure and temperature. These studies have been of fundamental importance to understanding the origin of carbonated magmas varying in composition from carbonatitic to kimberlitic. The occurrence of diamonds in natural rocks is a further evidence of the presence of (reduced) carbon in the Earth’s interior. The oxygenation of the Earth’s interior (i.e. its redox state) through time has strongly influenced the speciation of carbon from the mantle to mantle-derived magmas and, in turn, to the released volcanic gases to the atmosphere. This paper explains how the knowledge of the oxygen fugacity recorded by mantle rocks and determined through the use of appropriate oxy-thermobarometers allows modeling the speciation of carbon in the mantle, its mobilization in the asthenospheric mantle by redox partial melting, and its sequestration and storage during subduction by redox freezing processes. The effect of a gradual increase of the mantle fo2 on the mobilization of C is here discussed along with the main variables affecting its transport by subduction down to the mantle.
Abstract: The outermost layer of the solid Earth consists of relatively rigid plates whose horizontal motions are well described by the rules of plate tectonics. Yet, the thickness of these plates is poorly constrained, with different methods giving widely discrepant results. Here a recently developed procedure to derive lithospheric thickness from seismic tomography with a simple thermal model is discussed. Thickness is calibrated such that the average as a function of seafloor age matches the theoretical curve for half-space cooling. Using several recent tomography models, predicted thickness agrees quite well with what is expected from half-space cooling in many oceanic areas younger than ˜ 110 Myr. Thickness increases less strongly with age for older oceanic lithosphere, and is quite variable on continents, with thick lithosphere up to ˜ 250 km inferred for many cratons. Results are highly correlated for recent shear-wave tomography models. Also, comparison to previous approaches based on tomography shows that results remain mostly similar in pattern, although somewhat more variable in the mean value and amount of variation. Global correlations with and between lithosphere thicknesses inferred from receiver functions or heat flow are much lower. However, results inferred from tomography and elastic thickness are correlated highly, giving additional confidence in these patterns of thickness variations, and implying that tomographically inferred thickness may correlate with depth-integrated strength. Thermal scaling from seismic velocities to temperatures yields radial profiles that agree with half-space cooling over large parts of their depth range, in particular for averaged profiles for given lithosphere thickness ranges. However, strong deviations from half-space cooling profiles are found in thick continental lithosphere above depth ˜ 150 km, most likely due to compositional differences.
Abstract: We present a statistical approach to data mining and quantitatively evaluating detrital age spectra for sedimentary provenance analyses and palaeogeographic reconstructions. Multidimensional scaling coupled with density-based clustering allows the objective identification of provenance end-member populations and sedimentary mixing processes for a composite crust. We compiled 58 601 detrital zircon U-Pb ages from 770 Precambrian to Lower Palaeozoic shelf sedimentary rocks from 160 publications and applied statistical provenance analysis for the Peri-Gondwanan crust north of Africa and the adjacent areas. We have filtered the dataset to reduce the age spectra to the provenance signal, and compared the signal with age patterns of potential source regions. In terms of provenance, our results reveal three distinct areas, namely the Avalonian, West African and East African-Arabian zircon provinces. Except for the Rheic Ocean separating the Avalonian Zircon Province from Gondwana, the statistical analysis provides no evidence for the existence of additional oceanic lithosphere. This implies a vast and contiguous Peri-Gondwanan shelf south of the Rheic Ocean that is supplied by two contrasting super-fan systems, reflected in the zircon provinces of West Africa and East Africa-Arabia.
Abstract: Synthetic diamonds have inspired much interest for their unique photophysical properties and versatile potential applications, but their phosphorescent phenomenon and mechanism have been paid much less attention. Here, phosphorescent diamonds with a lifetime of 5.4?s were synthesized by high-pressure and high-temperature method, and the diamonds exhibit an emission band at around 468?nm under the excitation wavelength of 230?nm. The quantum yield of the phosphorescent diamonds is about 4.7% at ambient temperature and atmosphere, which is the first report on the quantum yield of diamonds. The unique phosphorescence emission can be attributed to the radiative recombination from iron related donors and boron related acceptors.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 490, 1, pp. 161-169.
Abstract: In this study, we have determined the phase boundary between Mg0.735Fe0.21Al0.07Si0.965O3-Bm and PPv and the thermal equations of state of both phases up to 202 GPa and 2600 K using synchrotron X-ray diffraction in laser heated diamond anvil cells. Our experimental results have shown that the combined effect of Fe and Al produces a wide two-phase coexistence region with a thickness of 26 GPa (410 km) at 2200 K, and addition of Fe lowers the onset transition pressure to 98 GPa at 2000 K, consistent with previous experimental results. Furthermore, addition of Fe was noted to reduce the density (?) and bulk sound velocity () contrasts across the Bm-PPv phase transition, which is in contrast to the effect of Al. Using the obtained phase diagram and thermal equations of state of Bm and PPv, we have also examined the effect of composition variations on the ? and
profiles of the lowermost mantle. Our modeling results have shown that the pyrolitic lowermost mantle should be highly heterogeneous in composition and temperature laterally to match the observed variations in the depth and seismic signatures of the D? discontinuity. Normal mantle in a pyrolitic composition with ~10% Fe and Al in Bm and PPv will lack clear seismic signature of the D? discontinuity because the broad phase boundary could smooth the velocity contrast between Bm and PPv. On the other hand, Fe-enriched regions close to the cold slabs may show a seismic signature with a change in the velocity slope of the D? discontinuity, consistent with recent seismic observations beneath the eastern Alaska. Only regions depleted in Fe and Al near the cold slabs would show a sharp change in velocity. Fe in such regions could be removed to the outer core by strong core-mantle interactions or partitions together with Al to the high-pressure phases in the subduction mid ocean ridge basalts. Our results thus have profound implication for the composition of the lowermost mantle.
Journal of Metamorphic Geology, https://doi.org/10.1111/jmg.12470
Abstract: To understand the preservation of coesite inclusions in ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic rocks, an integrated petrological, Raman spectroscopic and focused ion beam (FIB) system-transmission electron microscope (TEM) study was performed on a UHP kyanite eclogite from the Sulu belt in eastern China. Coesite grains have been observed only as rare inclusions in kyanite from the outer segment of garnet and in the matrix. Raman mapping analysis shows that a coesite inclusion in kyanite from the garnet rim records an anisotropic residual stress and retains a maximum residual pressure of approximately 0.35 GPa. TEM observations show quartz is absent from the coesite inclusion-host kyanite grain boundaries. Numerous dislocations and sub-grain boundaries are present in the kyanite, but dislocations are not confirmed in the coesite. In particular, dislocations concentrate in the kyanite adjacent to the boundary with the coesite inclusion, and they form a dislocation concentration zone with a dislocation density of ~109 cm-2. A high-resolution TEM image and a fast Fourier transform-filtered image reveal that a tiny dislocation in the dislocation concentration zone is composed of multiple edge dislocations. The estimated dislocation density in most of the kyanite away from the coesite inclusion-host kyanite grain boundaries is ~108 cm-2, being lower than that in kyanite adjacent to the coesite. In the case of a coesite inclusion in a matrix kyanite, using Raman and TEM analyses we could not identify any quartz at the grain boundaries. Dislocations are not observed in the coesite, but numerous dislocations and stacking faults are developed in the kyanite. The estimated overall dislocation density in the coesite-bearing matrix kyanite is ~108 cm-2, but a high dislocation density region of ~109 cm-2 is also present near the coesite inclusion-host kyanite grain boundaries. Inclusion and matrix kyanite grains with no coesite have dislocation densities of =108 cm-2. Dislocation density is generally reduced during an annealing process, but our results show that not all dislocations in the kyanite have recovered uniformly during exhumation of the UHP rocks. Hence, one of the key factors acting as a buffer to inhibit the coesite to quartz transformation is the mechanical interaction between the host and the inclusion that lead to the formation of dislocations in the kyanite. The kyanite acts an excellent pressure container that can preserve coesite during the decompression of rocks from UHP conditions. The search for and study of inclusions in kyanite may be a more suitable approach for tracing the spatial distribution of UHP metamorphic rocks.
Dyke Swarms of the World: a modern perspective Ed. Srivastava et al. Springer , Chapter pp. 111-154. available
South America, Guiana, Brazil
Abstract: We review geochronological data including U-Pb baddelyite ages of Proterozoic mafic dyke swarms and sills of the Amazonian Craton, as well as their geochemical character and geological settings, in order to arrive at an integrated tectonic interpretation. The information together with the characteristics of coeval volcanic-plutonic suites indicates a cyclicity of the mafic-felsic activity through time and space. At least four LIP/SLIP events are apparent, and each one appears to accompany the stepwise accretionary crustal growth of Amazonia. The oldest two, the Orocaima (1.98-1.96 Ga) and Uatumã (c. 1.89-1.87 Ga) SLIPs, comprise calc-alkaline I-type and subordinate A-type plutonic and volcanic rocks. Synchronous mafic intraplate activity occurs across the Guiana and Central-Brazil Shields. These two events may be caused by interaction between subduction-related processes and mantle plumes with synchronous lithosphere extension during the two time periods. The Avanavero (1.79 Ga) LIP event mostly consists of mafic dykes and sills which are intrusive into the Roraima platform cover, in the Guiana Shield. They show tholeiitic chemistry and similarities with E-MORB and subcontinental lithospheric mantle-derived basalts, whereas the REE pattern suggests affinity with intraplate settings. The age of the Avanavero rocks is identical to the Crepori Diabase, located ca. 1800 km away to the south (Central-Brazil Shield). The youngest LIP event (1.11 Ga), the Rincón del Tigre-Huanchaca, has the Rio Perdido Suite as a component in the Rio Apa Terrane, which is ca. 300 km away from the Rincón del Tigre Complex, located in the SW portion of the Amazonian Craton. Furthermore, the Central-Brazil and Guiana Shields boasts widespread intraplate mafic activity, highlighted by the Mata-Matá (1.57 Ga), Salto do Céu (1.44 Ga) and Nova Floresta (1.22 Ga) mafic sills and the Cachoeira Seca Troctolite (1.19 Ga). Contemporaneous A-type, rapakivi granites with roughly similar ages also occur elsewhere. These particular episodes are extension specific steps of the Mesoproterozoic Amazonia, and the quite large distribution is consistent with LIP events. In a broader perspective, the intermittent Proterozoic intracratonic activity has a barcode that matches LIP/SLIP events in Columbia and Rodinia.
Abstract: Constructing palaeogeographical maps is best achieved through the integration of data from hotspotting (since the Cretaceous), palaeomagnetism (including ocean-floor magnetic anomalies since the Jurassic), and the analysis of fossils and identification of their faunal and floral provinces; as well as a host of other geological information, not least the characters of the rocks themselves. Recently developed techniques now also allow us to determine more objectively the palaeolongitude of continents from the time of Pangaea onwards, which palaeomagnetism alone does not reveal. This together with new methods to estimate true polar wander have led to hybrid mantle plate motion frames that demonstrate that TUZO and JASON, two antipodal thermochemical piles in the deep mantle, have been stable for at least 300 Ma, and where deep plumes sourcing large igneous provinces and kimberlites are mostly derived from their margins. This remarkable observation has led to the plume generation zone reconstruction method which exploits the fundamental link between surface and deep mantle processes to allow determination of palaeolongitudes, unlocking a way forward in modelling absolute plate motions prior to the assembly of Pangaea. The plume generation zone method is a novel way to derive ‘absolute’ plate motions in a mantle reference frame before Pangaea, but the technique assumes that the margins of TUZO and JASON did not move much and that Earth was a degree-2 planet, as today.
Abstract: Across the entire mantle we interpret 94 positive seismic wave-speed anomalies as subducted lithosphere and associate these slabs with their geological record. We document this as the Atlas of the Underworld, also accessible online at www.atlas-of-the-underworld.org, a compilation comprising subduction systems active in the past ~ 300 Myr. Deeper slabs are correlated to older geological records, assuming no relative horizontal motions between adjacent slabs following break-off, using knowledge of global plate circuits, but without assuming a mantle reference frame. The longest actively subducting slabs identified reach the depth of ~ 2500 km and some slabs have impinged on Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces in the deepest mantle. Anomously fast sinking of some slabs occurs in regions affected by long-term plume rising. We conclude that slab remnants eventually sink from the upper mantle to the core-mantle boundary. The range in subduction-age versus - depth in the lower mantle is largely inherited from the upper mantle history of subduction. We find a significant depth variation in average sinking speed of slabs. At the top of the lower mantle average slab sinking speeds are between 10 and 40 mm/yr, followed by a deceleration to 10-15 mm/yr down to depths around 1600-1700 km. In this interval, in situ time-stationary sinking rates suggest deceleration from 20 to 30 mm/yr to 4-8 mm/yr, increasing to 12-15 mm/yr below 2000 km. This corroborates the existence of a slab deceleration zone but we do not observe long-term (> 60 My) slab stagnation, excluding long-term stagnation due to compositional effects. Conversion of slab sinking profiles to viscosity profiles shows the general trend that mantle viscosity increases in the slab deceleration zone below which viscosity slowly decreases in the deep mantle. This is at variance with most published viscosity profiles that are derived from different observations, but agrees qualitatively with recent viscosity profiles suggested from material experiments.
Abstract: Large peralkaline complexes are ‘factories’ that have produced a variety of ‘exotic’ minerals including high field strength element minerals. In most cases, these minerals are secondary and crystallise in a hydrothermal paragenesis that is extremely difficult to decipher due to the complexity of the textural relationships. The Strange Lake pluton is one of these complexes, and contains 37 exotic minerals, most of which are secondary. Adding to the difficulty in establishing a comprehensive paragenesis for these minerals and an alteration/precipitation path for the pluton is the fact that there were several stages of crystallisation of the same exotic and common secondary minerals, e.g., bastnäsite, fluocerite, gadolinite, aegirine, fluorite, and zircon. In this paper, we present a model, which describes a detailed path for the alteration and precipitation of minerals in the closed hydrothermal system of a peralkaline granitic pegmatite, based on direct measurements of the evolving composition of the aqueous fluid that exsolved from the late-stage magma crystallising rare-metal pegmatites in the Strange Lake pluton. The driving force for this evolution was cooling-induced oxidation that ultimately transformed the CH4-H2 gas in this fluid to CO2. This led to a large drop in the pH, which was a major control on the composition of the fluid and the crystallisation of secondary minerals. Although large numbers of minerals formed and were replaced during the different stages of fluid evolution, the changing chemistry of the fluid was largely a response to the alteration of four minerals, namely arfvedsonite, elpidite, narsarsukite and fluorite. The earliest stage of alteration, which took place at ~360?°C, was marked by the replacement of arfvedsonite by aegirine. This alteration decreased salinity and released K, Li, and Rb to the fluid, causing K-metasomatism. At ~300?°C, CH4 and higher hydrocarbons reacted to produce CO2. This caused a massive drop in pH from a value?>?10 to a value of ~3 and intense alteration, which included the dissolution of fluorite, the breakdown of elpidite to zircon and quartz and the replacement of narsarsukite by titanite. With ongoing dissolution of fluorite, Ca activity reached a level sufficient to promote the alteration of elpidite to armstrongite or gittinsite. This was accompanied by alteration of arfvedsonite to ferroceladonite and microcline to Al-phyllosilicates, enriching the fluid in Na, Fe and F. Soon after, there was a near total loss of CO2 (at ~230?°C). This loss was catastrophic and was focused along conical fractures (these developed as a result of the collapse of the roof of the pluton), with resultant fragmentation of the rocks along the fluid path. Alteration to phyllosilicates continued after the loss of CO2, as the system cooled to ~190?°C. This marked the beginning of the final stage of alteration, which involved the replacement of arfvedsonite by aegirine and hematite. It also coincided with large scale hematisation within the pluton. Finally, it led to the cementation of the fragments along the fluid path to form the fluorite-hematite ring breccia that is now evident at the margins of the pluton. The model of fluid evolution presented here is potentially applicable to many other peralkaline complexes. The only requirements are that the system was closed until a relatively late stage and that the exsolved fluid was saline and contained a reduced carbonic component. This is a feature of many peralkaline complexes, most notably, the Khibiny and Lovozero complexes in Russia, and Ilímaussaq in Greenland.
Abstract: Since the 1970s, numerous global plate tectonic models have been proposed to reconstruct the Earth's evolution through deep time. The reconstructions have proven immensely useful for the scientific community. However, we are now at a time when plate tectonic models must take a new step forward. There are two types of reconstructions: those using a ‘single control’ approach and those with a ‘dual control’ approach. Models using the ‘single control’ approach compile quantitative and/or semi-quantitative data from the present-day world and transfer them to the chosen time slices back in time. The reconstructions focus therefore on the position of tectonic elements but may ignore (partially or entirely) tectonic plates and in particular closed tectonic plate boundaries. For the readers, continents seem to float on the Earth's surface. Hence, the resulting maps look closer to what Alfred Wegener did in the early twentieth century and confuse many people, particularly the general public. With the ‘dual control’ approach, not only are data from the present-day world transferred back to the chosen time slices, but closed plate tectonic boundaries are defined iteratively from one reconstruction to the next. Thus, reconstructions benefit from the wealth of the plate tectonic theory. They are physically coherent and are suited to the new frontier of global reconstruction: the coupling of plate tectonic models with other global models. A joint effort of the whole community of geosciences will surely be necessary to develop the next generation of plate tectonic models.
Abstract: The Rosário-6 is a non-diamondiferous hypabyssal kimberlite located above the Rio de la Plata craton and near the south-eastern edge of the Paraná Basin, in southern Brazil. It is petrographically an inequigranular texture, macrocrystal kimberlite, fresh and the groundmass exhibits a microporphyritic texture and round megacrysts of olivine, which are derived from disaggregated mantle xenoliths. Olivine is also present as macrocrysts, microphenocrysts and in the groundmass together with phlogopite and apatite. These microphenocrysts are immersed in a groundmass of olivine, monticellite, phlogopite, CaTiO3-perovskite, apatite, Mg-chromite and Mg-ulvöspinel and melilite. A mesostasis assemblage of phlogopite, melilite, soda melilite, akermanite and calcium carbonate is segregated from the groundmass. Its geochemical signature is similar to those of transitional kimberlites of Kaapvaal Craton, South Africa, and the U-Pb ages of ~ 128 Ma on perovskite reveal that Rosário-6 kimberlite post-dates the main pulse of volcanism in the Paraná-Etendeka Large Igneous Province (LIP). The high Ti content of some minerals, such as Mg-chromite, Mg-ulvöspinel, phlogopite and melilite, and the presence of perovskite suggest a Ti-rich source. The petrographic, geochemical and isotopic data indicate that the Rosário-6 kimberlite source is a depleted mantle metasomatized by H2O-rich fluids, CO2-rich and silicate melts derived from the recycling of an ancient subducted oceanic plate (eclogite) before the South Atlantic opening. Although several authors indicate the influence of Tristan da Cunha plume for the generation of alkaline magmatism associated to the Paraná-Etendeka flood basalts, our data demonstrates that Tristan da Cunha plume has no chemical contribution to the generation of Rosário-6 kimberlite, except by its thermal influence.
Journal of Metamorphic Geology, in press available
Abstract: Dating ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic rocks provides important timing constraints on deep subduction zone processes. Eclogites, deeply subducted rocks now exposed at the surface, undergo a wide range of metamorphic conditions (i.e., deep subduction and exhumation) and their mineralogy can preserve a detailed record of chronologic information of these dynamic processes. Here we present an approach that integrates multiple radiogenic isotope systems in the same sample to provide a more complete timeline for the subduction-collision-exhumation processes, based on eclogites from the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt in eastern China, one of the largest ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) terranes on Earth. In this study, we integrate garnet Lu-Hf and Sm-Nd ages with zircon and titanite U-Pb ages for three eclogite samples from the Sulu UHP terrane. We combine this age information with Zr-in-rutile temperature estimates, and relate these multiple chronometers to different P-T conditions. Two types of rutile, one present as inclusions in garnet and the other in the matrix, record the temperatures of UHP conditions and a hotter stage, subsequent to the peak pressure (“hot exhumation”), respectively. Garnet Lu-Hf ages (c. 238 to 235 Ma) record the initial prograde growth of garnet, while coupled Sm-Nd ages (c. 219 to 213 Ma) reflect cooling following hot exhumation. The maximum duration of UHP conditions is constrained by the age difference of these two systems in garnet (c. 235 to 220 Ma). Complementary zircon and titanite U-Pb ages of c. 235 - 230 Ma and c. 216 - 206 Ma provide further constraints on the timing of prograde metamorphism and the "cold exhumation", respectively. We demonstrate that timing of various metamorphic stages can thus be determined by employing complementary chronometers from the same samples. These age results, combined with published data from adjacent areas, show lateral diachroneity in the Dabie-Sulu orogeny. Three sub-blocks are thus defined by progressively younger garnet ages: western Dabie (243 - 238 Ma), eastern Dabie-northern Sulu (238 - 235 Ma,) and southern Sulu terranes (225 - 220 Ma), which possibly correlate to different crustal slices in the recently proposed subduction channel model. These observed lateral chronologic variations in a large UHP terrane can possibly be extended to other suture zones.
Abstract: Archean tectonics was capable of producing virtually indestructible cratonic mantle lithosphere, but the dominant mechanism of this process remains a topic of considerable discussion. Recent geophysical and petrological studies have refuelled the debate by suggesting that thickening and associated vertical movement of the cratonic mantle lithosphere after its formation are essential ingredients of the cratonization process. Here we present a geodynamical study that focuses on how the thick stable cratonic lithospheric roots can be made in a thermally evolving mantle. Our numerical experiments explore the viability of a cratonization process in which depleted mantle lithosphere grows via lateral compression into a > 200-km thick, stable cratonic root and on what timescales this may happen. Successful scenarios for craton formation, within the bounds of our models, are found to be composed of two stages: an initial phase of tectonic shortening and a later phase of gravitational self-thickening. The initial tectonic shortening of previously depleted mantle material is essential to initiate the cratonization process, while the subsequent gravitational self-thickening contributes to a second thickening phase that is comparable in magnitude to the initial tectonic phase. Our results show that a combination of intrinsic compositional buoyancy of the cratonic root, rapid cooling of the root after shortening, and the long-term secular cooling of the mantle prevents a Rayleigh-Taylor type collapse, and will stabilize the thick cratonic root for future preservation. This two-stage thickening model provides a geodynamically viable cratonization scenario that is consistent with petrological and geophysical constraints.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 490, 1, pp. 88-99.
Abstract: Advances in whole waveform seismic tomography have revealed the presence of broad mantle plumes rooted at the base of the Earth's mantle beneath major hotspots. Hotspot tracks associated with these deep mantle plumes provide ideal constraints for inverting absolute plate motions as well as testing the fixed hotspot hypothesis. In this paper, 27 observed hotspot trends associated with 24 deep mantle plumes are used together with the MORVEL model for relative plate motions to determine an absolute plate motion model, in terms of a maximum likelihood optimization for angular data fitting, combined with an outlier data detection procedure based on statistical tests. The obtained T25M model fits 25 observed trends of globally distributed hotspot tracks to the statistically required level, while the other two hotspot trend data (Comores on Somalia and Iceland on Eurasia) are identified as outliers, which are significantly incompatible with other data. For most hotspots with rate data available, T25M predicts plate velocities significantly lower than the observed rates of hotspot volcanic migration, which cannot be fully explained by biased errors in observed rate data. Instead, the apparent hotspot motions derived by subtracting the observed hotspot migration velocities from the T25M plate velocities exhibit a combined pattern of being opposite to plate velocities and moving towards mid-ocean ridges. The newly estimated net rotation of the lithosphere is statistically compatible with three recent estimates, but differs significantly from 30 of 33 prior estimates.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, Fall 1p. Abstract p. 262-3
Africa, Sierra Leone
deposit - Zimmi
Abstract: Isolated nitrogen is one of the major defects in producing yellow color in natural diamonds. In regular type Ib yellow diamonds, isolated nitrogen is normally the dominant form, with limited aggregations in A centers (nitrogen pairs). Type Ib diamonds normally experienced strong plastic deformations. In addition to vacancy clusters, many other optic centers were introduced during annealing over their long geological history, such as GR1, NV, and H3 centers. Diamonds from the Zimmi area of West Africa are a typical example (Smit et al., 2016). As a result, clear brownish and greenish hues are common among these diamonds, so most do not possess true “canary” yellow color. Here we studied more than 2,000 diamonds with real canary yellow color. Their color origin and relationship with type Ib diamonds were explored. Sizes of the studied diamonds ranged from 0.01 to about 1.0 ct. They showed pure yellow color, with grades of Fancy Intense or Fancy Vivid yellow. Infrared absorption analysis showed that they were all type IaA with very high nitrogen concentrations, but a very weak absorption from isolated nitrogen at 1344 cm–1 was detected in all samples. Concentration of isolated nitrogen was estimated at ~2–3 ppm. This isolated nitrogen created smooth absorption in the ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) region, increasing gradually to the high-energy side. No other defects were detected using UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy, which explained the pure yellow color we observed. Fluorescence imaging revealed multiple nucleation centers with dominant green color, which was attributed to the S3 defects confirmed through photoluminescence analysis. Compared with natural type Ib diamonds, an outstanding feature of the studied samples is the absence of plastic deformation. For this reason, other vacancy-related defects were not introduced to these diamond lattices over the geological period after their formation. Sulfide inclusions are common in type Ib diamonds, but they were not observed in these canary stones. Instead, some calcite inclusions were observed. All the observations from this study indicated that the canary diamond samples were formed in a different geological environment than type Ib diamonds.
Abstract: Water transported by deep subduction to the mantle transition zone (MTZ) that is eventually released and migrates upwards is invoked as a likely cause for hydroweakening and cratonic lithosphere destruction. The destruction of the North China Craton (NCC) during the Mesozoic has been proposed to be related to hydroweakening. However, the source of water related to large-scale craton destruction in the NCC is poorly constrained. Some suggest that the water was mainly released from a flat-lying (or stagnating) slab in the MTZ, whereas others posit that most water was released from a previously existing strongly hydrous MTZ then perturbed by the stagnating subduction in the MTZ layer. In this study, we use numerical modeling to evaluate the water carrying ability of flat-lying slabs in the MTZ with different slab ages and water contents to simulate its maximum value and discuss its potential role on large-scale hydroweakening and craton destruction. Our results reveal that a single flat-lying slab in the MTZ cannot provide enough water for large-scale cratonic lithosphere hydroweakening and thinning. Water estimates invoked for craton destruction as experienced by the NCC can only be the result of long-term piling of multiple slabs in the MTZ or penetrating deeper into the lower mantle.
Abstract: Seismically detectable discontinuities at mid-depths of some cratonic lithospheric mantle define mid-lithosphere discontinuities (MLD), demonstrating that the lithospheric mantle is layered. The genesis and strength of the MLD are still in debate, most proposed models suggest the MLD is likely not weaker than the normal lithosphere, whereas other proposed models suggest that some metasomatised MLD rocks are weaker than the normal lithospheric mantle rocks. Thus, the weak MLD is likely a weakly-coupled layer at mid-depths in some cratonic lithosphere blocks, possibly influencing their stabilities. We assess the geodynamic significance of the MLD using geodynamic modeling. We propose that a weak MLD, with lower effective viscosity, can be connected to thinned cratonic margins during the evolution of some cratons and form continuously connected weak zones from cratonic margins to craton interiors, which can lead to lithospheric thinning or removal by extension, basal drag, delamination, thermochemical erosion, and other actions. Through analyzing different scenarios, we propose that some samples of weak MLDs can be found in a composite ophiolite profile formed on the Precambrian Karelian continental margin, with both continental and oceanic lithosphere, which is supported by chronological, petrological, and structural architectures of the profile. This creates new opportunities to directly study the properties of the MLD, which could help understand and settle the controversies on the origin of the MLD and its physical, chemical, and geophysical properties.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 510, pp. 219-230.
deposit - Oldoinyo Lengai
Abstract: Historic eruptions of Earth's only active carbonatite volcano, Oldoinyo Lengai (Tanzania), have repeatedly switched from low energy carbonatite lava extrusion to highly energetic explosive silicate volcanism, most recently in 1966-67 and 2007-08. The explosive eruptions produce strongly Si-undersaturated peralkaline silicate ashes with unusually high (Na + K)/Al of 3.4-6.3 when compared to the average peralkalinity of ~0.8 in the East African Rift System. A series of experiments in the carbonatite-clinopyroxene system at 750-1150 °C, 0.1 GPa, reveal that augitic clinopyroxene breaks down peritectically at >900 °C yielding strongly peralkaline conjugated silicate- and carbonatite melts. The clinopyroxene-derived silicate melt dissolves (Na,K)2O from the (Na,K)2CO3-component of the carbonatite leading to high peralkalinities and to liberation of excess CO2, since the solubility of carbon dioxide in silicate liquids is «1 wt.% at subvolcanic pressures. Carbonatite injection into subvolcanic clinopyroxene-rich crystal mushes hence explains the occurrence of strongly peralkaline silicate melts and provides a mechanism for CO2-driven explosive eruptions. The silicate melt compositions mostly depend on the (Na + K)/Ca ratio of the intruding carbonatite, the silicate ashes erupted in 1966-67 and 2007-08 require an interaction of a clinopyroxene-rich crystal mush with a slightly less evolved alkali-carbonatite than presently erupted at Oldoinyo Lengai. The mechanism identified here, where mineral breakdown induced melt hybridization triggers volatile saturation and highly explosive volcanism is generally applicable to igneous systems that involve carbonatites or other low-viscosity CO2-bearing alkaline silicate melts.
Abstract: Cratons are strong and their preservation demonstrates that they resist deformation and fragmentation. Yet several cratons are rifting now, or have rifted in the past. We suggest that cratons need to be weakened before they can rift. Specifically, metasomatism of the depleted dehydrated craton mantle lithosphere is a potential weakening mechanism. We use 2D numerical models to test the efficiency of simulated melt metasomatism and coeval rehydration to weaken craton mantle lithosphere roots. These processes effectively increase root density through a parameterized melt-peridotite reaction, and reduce root viscosity by increasing the temperature and rehydrating the cratonic mantle lithosphere. The models are designed to investigate when a craton is sufficiently weakened to undergo rifting and is no longer protected by adjacent standard Phanerozoic lithosphere. We find that cratons only become vulnerable to rifting following large-volume melt metasomatism (~ 30% by volume) and thinning of the gravitationally unstable cratonic lithosphere from > 250 km to ~ 100 km; at which point its residual crustal strength is important. Furthermore, our results indicate that rifting of cratons depends on the timing of extension with respect to metasomatism. An important effect in the large-volume melt models is the melt-induced increase in temperature which must have time to reach peak values in the uppermost mantle lithosphere before rifting. Release of water stored in the transition zone at the base of a big mantle wedge may provide a suitable natural setting for both rehydration and refertilization of an overlying craton and is consistent with evidence from the eastern North China Craton. An additional effect is that cratons subside isostatically to balance the increasing density of craton mantle lithosphere where it is moderately metasomatized. We suggest that this forms intracratonic basins and that their subsidence and subsequent uplift, and cratonic rifting constitute evidence of progressive metasomatism of cratonic mantle lithosphere.
Abstract: Besides the intrinsic rheological layering of the lithosphere and its thermal structure, inherited heterogeneities may play an important role in strain localization during continental extension. This is similar to the role that defects play in the failure and necking of other materials. Here, we consider both inherited small-scale weak zones and the effects of lateral juxtaposition of two lithospheres with differing properties as mechanisms to localize deformation and initiate necking instabilities. Using 2D finite-element models that contain lateral lithospheric boundaries, in combination with smaller scale heterogeneities, we illustrate that two controls determine how necking instabilities grow and thus lead to varying styles of rifting: Control 1, the stiff/pliable nature of the lithosphere and Control 2, the background strain rate in the lithosphere. Control 1 depends on the lithospheric rheology, such that necking instabilities grow faster in materials with high power-law creeping flow exponents (stiff, brittle lithosphere) than in those with low power-law creeping flow exponents (pliable, viscous lithosphere). Control 2 prevails in lithosphere where background strain rates are highest. This happens because necking amplifies the background strain rate in power-law materials, leading to faster necking where strain rates are highest. The model results show that Control 2 determines the location of localization, unless the background strain rate is equal or near equal in both lithospheres, in which case Control 1 wins. These results explain why rifting does not localize in cratons even though they contain heterogeneities. The results also provide a mechanism for the formation of asymmetric rifted margins.
Abstract: The late Mesoproterozoic Ngualla carbonatite complex in southwest Tanzania comprises a central magnesiocarbonatite plug surrounded sequentially by an annular calcite carbonatite intrusion and fenitised felsic igneous country rocks. The calcite carbonatite contains phlogopite-rich (glimmerite) enclaves interpreted as fenitised wallrock xenoliths that have contributed silicate minerals, apatite and magnetite through dispersal and interaction, mainly within the calcite carbonatite magma. Ultramafic magmas were emplaced into the magnesiocarbonatite magma chamber before complete solidification of the magnesiocarbonatite. Contemporaneity allowed the two magmas to mingle. Rounded enclaves of hematite-barite in the magnesiocarbonatite are tentatively attributed to magma immiscibility. Following complete solidification of the calcite carbonatite, and overlapping late crystallization of the magnesiocarbonatite plug, late magnesiocarbonatite dikes and ultramafic dikes were emplaced, some of the latter as diatremes. Crystallization of ferroan dolomite in the magnesiocarbonatite plug resulted in residual magmatic concentration of Si, Ba, F and rare earth elements (REE), and crystallization of barite, quartz, calcite, fluorite and REE fluorocarbonates in miarolitic cavities. Concentrations of (total) rare earth oxides (TREO) in the unweathered magnesiocarbonatite are 1 to 2%. REE ore with 3 to 6% TREO resulted from weathering, during which CaCO3 and MgCO3 were leached from ferroan dolomite leaving a porous goethite-rich residue containing barite and bastnaesite, the latter having replaced primary synchesite. Other commodities with potential economic significance include phosphate and niobium, both of which were enriched by residual accumulation over the calcite carbonatite as a result of karstic weathering. Although weathering was a critical factor in the formation of REE ore at Ngualla, the primary proto-ore resulted mainly from in situ igneous processes. This genetic model is different from that used to account for many carbonatite-hosted ore bodies, which result from late-stage hydrothermal processes. Examples of hydrothermal rare earth deposits include those of the late Jurassic to early Cretaceous Chilwa Province, located 800?km south of Ngualla. The differences in ore-forming processes may reflect the relative ages of the carbonatites and a deeper level of erosion at Ngualla.
Abstract: Something strange is going on at the top of the world. Earth’s north magnetic pole has been skittering away from Canada and towards Siberia, driven by liquid iron sloshing within the planet’s core. The magnetic pole is moving so quickly that it has forced the world’s geomagnetism experts into a rare move. On 15 January, they are set to update the World Magnetic Model, which describes the planet’s magnetic field and underlies all modern navigation, from the systems that steer ships at sea to Google Maps on smartphones. The most recent version of the model came out in 2015 and was supposed to last until 2020 — but the magnetic field is changing so rapidly that researchers have to fix the model now. “The error is increasing all the time,” says Arnaud Chulliat, a geomagnetist at the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Centers for Environmental Information. The problem lies partly with the moving pole and partly with other shifts deep within the planet. Liquid churning in Earth’s core generates most of the magnetic field, which varies over time as the deep flows change. In 2016, for instance, part of the magnetic field temporarily accelerated deep under northern South America and the eastern Pacific Ocean. Satellites such as the European Space Agency’s Swarm mission tracked the shift. By early 2018, the World Magnetic Model was in trouble. Researchers from NOAA and the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh had been doing their annual check of how well the model was capturing all the variations in Earth’s magnetic field. They realized that it was so inaccurate that it was about to exceed the acceptable limit for navigational errors.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, doei:10.1029/ 2018JE005698
Abstract: People have long had curiosity in the origin of Earth's water (equivalently hydrogen). Solar nebula has been given the least attention among existing theories, although it was the predominating reservoir of hydrogen in our early solar system. Here we present a first model for Earth's water origin that quantifies contribution from the solar nebula in addition to that from chondrites, the primary building blocks of Earth. The model considers dissolution of nebular hydrogen into the early Earth's magma oceans and reaction between hydrogen and iron droplets within the magma ocean. Such processes not only delivered countless hydrogen atoms from the mantle to the core but also generated an appreciable difference in hydrogen isotopic composition (2H/1H ratio) between the mantle and core. Fitting the model to current knowledge about Earth's hydrogen produces best combinations of nebular and chondritic contributions to Earth's water. We find that nearly one out of every 100 water molecules on Earth came from the solar nebula. Our planet hides majority of its water inside, with roughly two oceans in the mantle and four to five oceans in the core. These results suggest inevitable formation of water on sufficiently large rocky planets in extrasolar systems.
Abstract: Mantle-derived carbonatites provide a unique window in the understanding of mantle characteristics and dynamics, as well as insight into the assembly and breakup of supercontinents. As a petrological indicator of extensional tectonic regimes, Precambrian carbonatites provide important constraints on the timing of the breakup of ancient supercontinents. The majority of the carbonatites reported worldwide are Phanerozoic, in part because of the difficulty in recognizing Precambrian carbonatites, which are characterized by strong foliation and recrystallization, and share broad petrologic similarities with metamorphosed sedimentary lithologies. Here we report the recognition of a ~1.85?Ga carbonatite in Chaihulanzi area of Chifeng in north China based on systematic geological, petrological, geochemical, and baddeleyite U-Pb geochronological results. The carbonatite occurs as dikes or sills emplaced in Archean metasedimentary rocks and underwent intense deformation. Petrological and SEM/EDS results show that calcite and dolomite are the dominant carbonate minerals along with minor and varied amounts of Mg-rich mafic minerals, including forsterite (with Fo?>?98), phlogopite, diopside, and an accessory amount of apatite, baddeleyite, spinel, monazite, and ilmenite. The relatively high silica content together with the non-arc and OIB-like trace element signatures of the carbonatite indicates a hot mantle plume as the likely magma source. The depleted Nd isotopic signatures suggest that plume upwelling might be triggered by the accumulation of recycled crust in the deep mantle. As a part of the global-scale Columbia supercontinent, the Proteozoic tectonic evolution of the North China Craton (NCC) provides important insights into the geodynamics governing amalgamation and fragmentation of the supercontinent. The Paleo-Mesoproterozoic boundary is the key point of tectonic transition from compressional to extensional settings in the NCC. The newly-identified ~1.85?Ga carbonatite provides a direct link between the long-lasting supercontinental breakup and plume activity, which might be sourced from the “slab graveyard”, continental crustal slabs subducted into asthenosphere, beneath the supercontinent. The carbonatite provides a precise constraint of the initiation of the continental breakup at ~1.85?Ga.
Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 46, 1, pp. 179-188.
Abstract: Eclogite mainly consists of pyrope-almandine-grossular garnet and sodium-rich pyroxene (omphacite) and is a key component of the Earth's upper mantle and oceanic crust. It plays an important role in the mantle convection. The lack of thermoelastic parameters of eclogitic garnets and omphacites hampers accurate modeling of eclogite density at deep-Earth pressure-temperature conditions. In this study, we obtained the thermoelastic parameters of natural eclogitic garnets and omphacites and then modeled the densities of high-Fe and low-Fe eclogites in the subducted oceanic crust and the normal upper mantle. In the upper mantle, eclogite enhances the slab subduction into the transition zone; however, the presence of the metastable low-Fe eclogite would promote the slab stagnation within the upper range of the transition zone. Additionally, eclogite can explain positive density anomalies at depths of 100-200 km of the upper mantle of Asia identified by seismic observations.
Abstract: The Archean-Proterozoic transition was among the most important in geological history for it includes evidence of establishment of ‘modern-style’ plate tectonics, unprecedented paleoclimatic upheavals, and oxygenation of the atmosphere. The early Paleoproterozoic sedimentary record includes evidence of the world's first widespread glacial episodes, which have come to be known as the ‘Huronian Glacial Event’. None of these important changes coincides precisely with the accepted date of 2.5?Ga for the ‘boundary’ between the two great Precambrian eons. Rather, the geological record contains evidence of gradual transitions over many millions of years. For example the Archean sedimentary record in areas such as South Africa includes evidence of stable conditions (e.g. the Pongola Supergroup) that were not achieved in the Laurentian craton until much later during the Paleoproterozoic Era. The Pongola Supergroup in South Africa contains some of the world's oldest (c. 2.9?Ga) but locally developed glacial deposits. Many of these important changes are now considered to have been gradual and oscillatory in nature, including evidence of ‘whiffs of oxygen’ in Archean rocks, long before the Paleoproterozoic Great Oxidation Event. Oxidation of the oceans was also a long and extremely complex process, the details of which are still poorly understood. Glaciations near the beginning of the Paleoproterozoic Era have been considered by some to have been world-spanning ‘snowball Earth’ events. Repeated Huronian glaciations were probably brought about by weathering of Lauroscandia, the world's first ‘supercraton’, controlled by episodic rift-related uplifts during its disintegration. Among these glaciations only the third, represented by the Gowganda Formation and equivalents, was widespread throughout Lauroscandia. Because the two older glaciogenic units are known from only two locations in North America, their formation and preservation were probably controlled by local tectonic events. In like fashion, Paleoproterozoic glaciogenic units in South Africa and Western Australia appear to be local deposits from mountain glaciers formed during periods of tectonically generated (compressional?) uplift. The restricted distribution and diachronous nature of such tectonic events, and associated glaciogenic deposits, cast doubt on the viability of attempts at global correlations of individual Paleoproterozoic glaciogenic formations and on the existence of a Paleoproterozoic (or Neoproterozoic?) snowball Earth.
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 304-5.
Abstract: In diamond grown by the CVD method, nitrogen behaves differently than it does in natural and HPHT-grown diamond. The most striking peculiarities are low efficiency of doping, formation of unique optical centers over a wide spectral range from the ultraviolet (UV) to the IR regions, and formation of unusual defects related to aggregated nitrogen. In order to gain a better insight into this problem, several nitrogen-doped specimens grown in GIA’s CVD diamond lab and a few commercial yellow CVD-grown diamonds have been studied in their as-grown (asreceived) state and after electron irradiation and annealing at temperatures up to 1900°C (low-pressure, high-temperature treatment). We found that the brightest pink color of electron-irradiated nitrogen-doped CVD-grown diamond is produced by the NV– center after annealing at temperatures of about 1000°C. Annealing at temperatures over 1600°C destroys the irradiation-induced pink color (figure 1). The most prominent optical centers in the IR spectral region (figure 2, left) produced absorptions at 2828, 2874, 2906, 2949, 3031, 3107, 3123, and 3310 cm–1 (latter two not shown). These are ascribed to nitrogen-hydrogen complexes. Two characteristic absorption features at 1293 and 1341 cm–1 (figure 2, right) are unique to CVD diamond. They are tentatively ascribed to a modified form of nitrogen A-aggregates. In the visible and NIR spectral ranges, characteristic nitrogenrelated centers have zero-phonon lines (ZPLs) at 457, 462, 489, 498, 647, 722.5, 852.5, 865.5, 868.5, 908, 921.5, and 924.5 nm. The 489 nm feature is a major color center of electron-irradiated, nitrogen-doped CVD-grown diamond. This center, together with the GR1 center, is responsible for the green color in this material. An assumption is made that N atoms may form clusters in highly nitrogen-doped CVD-grown diamonds. These clusters may result in broad-band luminescence at wavelengths of 360, 390, 535, and 720 nm and a strong broadening of the ZPLs of many optical centers
Gems & Gemology, Sixth International Gemological Symposium Vol. 54, 3, 1p. Abstract p. 266.
Abstract: Photoluminescence (PL) and phosphorescence underpin many of the discrimination techniques used to separate natural from synthetic diamond. PL is at the heart of many new quantum technologies based on color centers in lab-grown diamonds. In HPHT synthetic diamond, the phosphorescence observed is explained in terms of donor-acceptor pair recombination. The thermal activation of electrons to neutral boron acceptors shows that boron plays a key role in the phosphorescence process. However, there are a number of things we struggle to explain. For example, the phosphorescence peak positions are not fully explained, and there is no conclusive link between the emission and charge transfer involving the substitutional nitrogen donor. Secondly, the origin of the phosphorescence observed in some synthetic diamond samples grown by the CVD process is unclear. Although we now have evidence for unintentional boron impurity incorporation at stop-start growth boundaries in some CVD syn- thetic samples, it is possible that some of the observed phosphorescence does not involve boron impurities. In this paper we report on the results of combined fluorescence, phosphorescence, thermoluminescence, and quantitative charge transfer investigations undertaken on both HPHT and CVD synthetic diamond, with the objective of identifying which defects are involved in the fluorescence and phosphorescence processes.
Abstract: Subduction of calcium carbonate, sequestered in the oceanic crust by hydrothermal metamorphism and biogenic action, accounts for a significant flux of carbon into the mantle, where it contributes to the genesis of carbonatitic and silica-undersaturated melts. However, the reported phase relations in the system CaCO3, notably the transition boundary from disordered calcite (calcite V, here ccv) to aragonite (ara), vary considerably among different studies. Moreover, the thermodynamic properties of ccv and of liquid CaCO3 (CaCO3L) remain to be determined. In order to address the dearth of experimental data on phase relations, and to determine a set of internally consistent thermodynamic properties for ara, ccv and CaCO3L, multi-anvil experiments were performed at 3-6?GPa and 1300-1750?°C. By re-evaluating all experimental data, the transformation of ccv-ara fits the equation Tccv-ara?=?397.6?+?320.17?×?P and the melting curve Tm?=?1578.9?+?139.65?×?P?-?11.646?×?P2, where pressure is in GPa and temperature in K. Thermodynamic properties retrieved for calcite V and liquid CaCO3 are used to compute phase diagrams of relevance for chemical compositions representative of eclogite heterogeneities of the astenospheric mantle, and compared with experimentally derived phase relationships. Aragonite represents a carbonate of major abundance in carbonated eclogites at high temperature, close to the solidus; its ability to fractionate REE and Ba-Sr contributes to the peculiar geochemical signatures of silica undersaturated magmas. The relatively refractory nature of aragonite impacts on our understanding of the deep carbon cycle.
Doklady earth Sciences, Vol. 483, 1, pp. 1473-1474.
Abstract: The experimental data on diamond growth in the Fe-Ni-S-C and Fe-S-C systems with a sulfur content of 5-14 wt % at 5.5 GPa and 1300-1350°C are reported. Colorless and light yellow diamond crystals with a weight of 0.1-0.8 ct were synthesized. It is shown in the Fe-S-C system that at 5.5. GPa diamond may crystallize in a very narrow temperature range, from 1300 to 1370°C. Based on comparative analysis of the experimental data and the results of the study of native iron inclusions in natural diamonds from kimberlite pipes, it is suggested that diamond genesis may be partly controlled by the pre-eutectic (by the concentration of sulfur in relation to metal) metal-sulfide melt.
Abstract: In situ U-Pb and Hf analyses were used for crustal zircon xenocrysts from Triassic kimberlites exposed in the Rangnim Massif of North Korea to identify components of the basement hidden in the deep crust of the Rangnim Massif and to clarify the crustal evolution of the massif. The U-Pb age spectrum of the zircons has a prominent population at 1.9-1.8 Ga and a lack of Archaean ages. The data indicate that the deep crust and basement beneath the Rangnim Massif are predominantly of Palaeoproterozoic age, consistent with the ages of widely exposed Palaeoproterozoic granitic rocks. In situ zircon Hf isotope data show that most of the Palaeoproterozoic zircon xenocrysts have negative ?Hf ( t ) values (-9.7 to +0.7) with an average Hf model age of 2.86 ± 0.02 Ga (2 s ), which suggests that the Palaeoproterozoic basement was not juvenile but derived from the reworking of Archaean rocks. Considering the existence of Archaean remanent material in the Rangnim Massif and their juvenile features, a strong crustal reworking event is indicated at 1.9-1.8 Ga, during which time the pre-existing Archaean basement was exhausted and replaced by a newly formed Palaeoproterozoic basement. These features suggest that the Rangnim Massif constitutes the eastern extension of the Palaeoproterozoic Liao-Ji Belt of the North China Craton instead of the Archaean Liaonan Block as previously thought. A huge Palaeoproterozoic orogen may exist in the eastern margin of the Sino-Korean Craton.