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Episodic diamond growth beneath the Kaapvaal Craton at Jwaneng Mine, Botswana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Michael U. Gress
  • Daniel Howell
  • Ingrid L. Chinn
  • Laura Speich
  • Simon C. Kohn
  • Quint van Den Heuvel
  • Ellen Schulten
  • Anna S.M. Pals
  • Gareth R. Davies
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalMineralogy and Petrology
Early online date24 May 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 20 Apr 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 24 May 2018


Important implications for the interior workings of the Earth can be drawn by studying diamonds and their inclusions. To better understand the timing and number of diamond forming events beneath the NW margin of the Kaapvaal Craton, a comprehensive reassessment of Jwaneng’s diamond populations has been undertaken. We report new inclusion abundance data from the visual examination of ~130,000 diamonds that validate the predominance of an eclogitic diamond suite (up to 88%) with on average 5% inclusion-bearing diamonds (with inclusions >10 μm in size). From this population, polished plates from 79 diamonds of eclogitic and peridotitic paragenesis have been studied with cathodoluminescence (CL) imaging and infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) traverses. The majority (80%) record major changes in N concentration and aggregation states, as well as sharp boundaries in the CL images of individual plates that are interpreted to demarcate discrete diamond growth events. In addition, bulk FTIR data have been acquired for 373 unpolished diamonds. Silicate inclusions sampled from distinct growth zones define 2 compositional groups of omphacites and pyrope-almandines associated with different N contents in their diamond hosts. These findings reinforce previous observations that at Jwaneng at least seven individual diamond forming events can be identified – 3 peridotitic and 4 eclogitic. The results demonstrate that detailed examination of diamond plates by CL imaging and FTIR traverses is necessary to unveil the complex history recorded in diamonds.

    Research areas

  • Cathodoluminescence, FTIR, Nitrogen aggregation, Silicate inclusions

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