Original paper

Nanometre-sized mineral and fluid inclusions in cloudy Siberian diamonds: new insights on diamond formation

Logvinova, Alla M.; Wirth, Richard; Fedorova, Ekaterina N.; Sobolev, Nikolai V.

Abstract

Nanometre-sized isolated inclusions have been studied in four cloudy octahedral diamonds from the Internatsionalnaya and one from the Yubileynaya mines (Yakutia). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques such as electron diffraction, analytical electron microscopy (AEM), electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) and high-resolution electron microscopy (HREM) were applied as well as line scan and elemental mapping of the samples. All crystals exhibit octahedral external habit with opaque central cuboid cores that contain numerous nano-inclusions. All nano-inclusions in the size range between 30 and 800 nm reflect the diamond habit and are considered primary, syngenetic to host diamond. They are composed of multi-phase assemblages, which include solid phases (silicates, oxides, carbonates), brines (halides), and fluid bubbles. These inclusions are relatively homogeneous in composition and contain distinguishable crystalline and fluid phases. Al-bearing high-Mg silicate, dolomite, Ba-Sr carbonate, phlogopite, ilmenite, ferropericlase, apatite, magnetite, K-Fe sulfides (djerfisherite?) and kyanite have been identified as crystalline mineral phases by electron diffraction patterns, except the Ba-Sr carbonate. Several phases, including CaF2 and clinohumite-like phases, have never been reported as inclusions in diamond. The halide phase was KCl. Bubbles contained high K, Cl, O, P and less S, Ba, Si, Ti components. Carbonates were identified in TEM foils from all studied diamonds. They occur in all assemblages with silicates, oxides, and sulfides and show a general enrichment in incompatible elements such as Sr and Ba. Some elemental variations may be explained by fractional crystallization of fluid/melt or mixing of fluids with different compositions (carbonatitic, hydrous-silicic, brines).

Keywords

diamondfluid inclusionsmineral inclusionsxenolithcarbonatitic fluid