Rocks consisting almost entirely of diamonds (diamondites) that contain minor amounts of silicates were analyzed for trace element abundances in the silicates by Laser Ablation ICP Mass Spectrometry for the first time. Diamondites, previously described as polycrystalline diamond "aggregates" and "framesite", extend the range of monomineralic rocks known from the Earth's upper mantle. Our samples are intergrowths of diamonds with abundant open cavities and some interstitial silicates. The most common silicate is pyrope which occurs in two different colors (and chemical compositions): orange and lilac similar to garnet inclusions in diamonds and garnets known from upper mantle eclogites and garnet peridotites, respectively. In our sample, the "peridotitic" garnet is accompanied by Cr-rich diopside whereas the "eclogitic" garnet is unaccompanied. Trace element abundances suggest that both types of garnet formed from upper mantle fluids of similar origin which were rich in a carbonatitic component. The diamondites likely formed from the same fluids. Diamonds precipitated first and - in smaller amounts - contemporaneously with the silicates. Major upper mantle minerals like olivine, orthopyroxene and omphacite are missing, possibly indicating that these minerals behaved as refractory phases and were not mobilized by fluids. The chemical composition of "eclogite" and "peridotite" garnets differ in Cr and high field strength elements contents but not in the moderately compatible elements. They also have the same low Fe/Mg ratio which indicates a peridotitic source for the fluids. The compositional difference in minor and trace elements appears to be the result of different fluid processing rather than of a different source, i.e., peridotite or eclogite.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology