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Nat Commun. 2017 Sep 21;8(1):648. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00564-x.

Archaean and Proterozoic diamond growth from contrasting styles of large-scale magmatism.

Author information

1
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081, HV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. j.m.koornneef@vu.nl.
2
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081, HV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
3
De Beers Exploration, Private Bag X01, Southdale, 2135, South Africa.
4
Anglo American plc, Group Exploration and Geosciences, 45 Main Street, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa.
5
University of Glasgow, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK.

Abstract

Precise dating of diamond growth is required to understand the interior workings of the early Earth and the deep carbon cycle. Here we report Sm-Nd isotope data from 26 individual garnet inclusions from 26 harzburgitic diamonds from Venetia, South Africa. Garnet inclusions and host diamonds comprise two compositional suites formed under markedly different conditions and define two isochrons, one Archaean (2.95 Ga) and one Proterozoic (1.15 Ga). The Archaean diamond suite formed from relatively cool fluid-dominated metasomatism during rifting of the southern shelf of the Zimbabwe Craton. The 1.8 billion years younger Proterozoic diamond suite formed by melt-dominated metasomatism related to the 1.1 Ga Umkondo Large Igneous Province. The results demonstrate that resolving the time of diamond growth events requires dating of individual inclusions, and that there was a major change in the magmatic processes responsible for harzburgitic diamond formation beneath Venetia from the Archaean to the Proterozoic.Dating of inclusions within diamonds is used to reconstruct Earth's geodynamic history. Here, the authors report isotope data on individual garnet inclusions within diamonds from Venetia, South Africa, showing that two suites of diamonds define two isochrons, showing the importance of dating individual inclusions.

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