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Publication - Professor Simon Kohn

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

    Citation

    Gress, MU, Howell, D, Chinn, IL, Speich, L, Kohn, SC, Heuvel, QvD, Schulten, E, Pals, AS & Davies, GR, 2018, ‘Episodic diamond growth beneath the Kaapvaal Craton at Jwaneng Mine, Botswana’. Mineralogy and Petrology.

    Abstract

    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.

    Full details in the University publications repository