Natural diamonds and their inclusions provide unique glimpses of mantle processes from as deep as ~800 km and dating back to 3.5 G.y. Once formed, diamonds are commonly interpreted to travel upward, either slowly within mantle upwellings or rapidly within explosive, carbonate-rich magmas erupting at the surface. Although global tectonics induce subduction of material from shallow depths into the deep mantle, mineralogical evidence for downward movements of diamonds has never been reported. We report the finding of an unusual composite inclusion consisting of ringwoodite (the second finding to date), tetragonal zirconia, and coesite within an alluvial super-deep diamond from the Central African Republic. We interpret zirconia + coesite and ringwoodite as prograde transformation products after zircon or reidite (ZrSiO4) and olivine or wadsleyite, respectively. This inclusion assemblage can be explained if the diamond traveled downward after entrapping olivine/wadsleyite + zircon/reidite, dragged down by a subducting slab, before being delivered to the surface. This indicates that the commonly assumed view that diamonds form at, and capture material from, a specific mantle level and then travel upward is probably too simplistic.

Ringwoodite and zirconia inclusions indicate downward travel of super-deep diamonds

Lorenzon, Sofia
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Novella, Davide
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Nimis, Paolo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Pamato, Martha G.
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Lorenzetti, Alessandra
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Alvaro, Matteo
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Brenker, Frank
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Nestola, Fabrizio
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2022

Abstract

Natural diamonds and their inclusions provide unique glimpses of mantle processes from as deep as ~800 km and dating back to 3.5 G.y. Once formed, diamonds are commonly interpreted to travel upward, either slowly within mantle upwellings or rapidly within explosive, carbonate-rich magmas erupting at the surface. Although global tectonics induce subduction of material from shallow depths into the deep mantle, mineralogical evidence for downward movements of diamonds has never been reported. We report the finding of an unusual composite inclusion consisting of ringwoodite (the second finding to date), tetragonal zirconia, and coesite within an alluvial super-deep diamond from the Central African Republic. We interpret zirconia + coesite and ringwoodite as prograde transformation products after zircon or reidite (ZrSiO4) and olivine or wadsleyite, respectively. This inclusion assemblage can be explained if the diamond traveled downward after entrapping olivine/wadsleyite + zircon/reidite, dragged down by a subducting slab, before being delivered to the surface. This indicates that the commonly assumed view that diamonds form at, and capture material from, a specific mantle level and then travel upward is probably too simplistic.
2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3449183
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