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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 May 29;104(22):9122-7. Epub 2007 Mar 22.

The role of mantle ultrapotassic fluids in diamond formation.

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Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Koptuyga 3, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia.


Analysis of data on micro- and nano-inclusions in mantle-derived and metamorphic diamonds shows that, to a first approximation, diamond-forming medium can be considered as a specific ultrapotassic, carbonate/chloride/silicate/water fluid. In the present work, the processes and mechanisms of diamond crystallization were experimentally studied at 7.5 GPa, within the temperature range of 1,400-1,800 degrees C, with different compositions of melts and fluids in the KCl/K(2)CO(3)/H(2)O/C system. It has been established that, at constant pressure, temperature, and run duration, the mechanisms of diamond nucleation, degree of graphite-to-diamond transformation, and formation of metastable graphite are governed chiefly by the composition of the fluids and melts. The experimental data suggest that the evolution of the composition of deep-seated ultrapotassic fluids/melts is a crucial factor of diamond formation in mantle and ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic processes.

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