Retrograde isochemical phase transformations of majoritic garnets included in diamonds: A case study of subcalcic Cr-rich majoritic pyrope from a Snap Lake diamond, Canada

N. V. Sobolev, R. Wirth, A. M. Logvinova, A. P. Yelisseyev, D. V. Kuzmin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Homogeneity of a peridotitic garnet inclusion in diamond demonstrating excess in Si concentration (i.e. presence of majorite component) was investigated by TEM using FIB prepared foils. The host diamond is a low-nitrogen brown stone, which can be related to type IIa with features of strong plastic deformation. The studied sample is represented by Ca-poor Cr-pyrope of harzburgitic (H) paragenesis from Snap Lake dyke, Canada The garnet had been previously reported to contain Si = 3.16 apfu. The revised examination of the sample, resulted in detection of extremely fine-grained symplectite consisting of low Ca-orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, Cr-spinel and coesite completely located and isolated in the inner part of the garnet crystal, which forms a sharp interface with the surrounding homogeneous garnet. XRD study confirmed the presence of the minerals constituting the symplectite. EPMA showed an identical bulk chemistry of the nanometer-sized symplectite and garnet. Further polishing of the garnet inclusion on the same surface with diamond removed the symplectite, which possibly was present as a thin lens within garnet. The remaining garnet is completely homogeneous as checked by two profiles, and contains unusually high Ni (118.2 ppm) and depleted REE patterns. Estimated PT formation conditions of this garnet are 10.8 GPa and 1450 °C within asthenosphere. Symplectite testifies partial retrograde isochemical phase transformation of the examined garnet which is suggested to be caused by decompression along with plastic deformation of diamond within the coesite stability field at T > 1000 °C and depth no less than 100 km. Because previously published studies of rare majoritic garnets composition were performed by EPMA only, it is possible that the traces of partial phase transformation (symplectite formation) could have been overlooked without additional XRD and/or TEM/AEM studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-277
Number of pages11
JournalLithos
Volume265
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2016

Keywords

  • Diamond
  • Harzburgite
  • Majoritic garnet
  • Pyroxenes
  • Symplectite

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