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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 5, 2024
  3. Abstract Natural diamonds and their inclusions provide unique glimpses of mantle processes from as deep as ~800 km and dating back to 3.5 G.y. Once formed, diamonds are commonly interpreted to travel upward, either slowly within mantle upwellings or rapidly within explosive, carbonate-rich magmas erupting at the surface. Although global tectonics induce subduction of material from shallow depths into the deep mantle, mineralogical evidence for downward movements of diamonds has never been reported. We report the finding of an unusual composite inclusion consisting of ringwoodite (the second finding to date), tetragonal zirconia, and coesite within an alluvial super-deep diamond from the Central African Republic. We interpret zirconia + coesite and ringwoodite as prograde transformation products after zircon or reidite (ZrSiO4) and olivine or wadsleyite, respectively. This inclusion assemblage can be explained if the diamond traveled downward after entrapping olivine/wadsleyite + zircon/reidite, dragged down by a subducting slab, before being delivered to the surface. This indicates that the commonly assumed view that diamonds form at, and capture material from, a specific mantle level and then travel upward is probably too simplistic.
  4. Abstract Single crystals of Al-free, ferromagnesian jeffbenite up to 200 µm in size have been synthesized at 15 GPa and 1200 °C in a 1200 tonne multi-anvil press from a starting composition in the forsteritefayalite-magnetite-water system. This phase has the approximate formula Mg2.62Fe0.872+Fe1.633+Si2.88O12 and is observed to coexist with a Ca-free clinopyroxene plus what appears to be quenched melt. The crystal structure has been refined from single-crystal X-ray diffraction data and is similar to that determined for natural Al-bearing jeffbenite, Mg3Al2Si3O12, reported from inclusions in superdeep diamonds. The structure is a tetragonal orthosilicate in space group I42d with a = 6.6449(4) Å, c = 18.4823(14) Å, and is structurally more closely related to zircon than to garnet. The T2 site is larger than T1, shares an edge with the M2 octahedron, and incorporates significant Fe3+. Because of the tetrahedral incorporation of trivalent cations, jeffbenite appears to be compositionally distinct from garnet. Previous speculations that the phase may only occur as a retrograde decompression product from bridgmanite are not supported by its direct synthesis under transition zone conditions. The phase has a calculated density of 3.93 g/cm3, which is indistinguishable from a garnet of comparable composition, and is a possible componentmore »in the mantle transition zone under oxidizing conditions or with Al-rich compositions.« less
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  6. Abstract Goldschmidtite is a new perovskite-group mineral (IMA No. 2018-034) with the ideal formula (K,REE,Sr)(Nb,Cr)O3. A single grain of goldschmidtite with a maximum dimension of ∼100 μm was found as an inclusion in a diamond from the Koffiefontein pipe in South Africa. In addition to the dark green and opaque goldschmidtite, the diamond contained a Cr-rich augite (websteritic paragenesis) and an intergrowth of chromite, Mg-silicate, and unidentified K-Sr-REE-Nb-oxide. Geothermobarometry of the augite indicates that the depth of formation was ∼170 km. The chemical composition of gold-schmidtite determined by electron microprobe analysis (n = 11, WDS, wt%) is: Nb2O5 44.82, TiO2 0.44, ThO2 0.10, Al2O3 0.35, Cr2O3 7.07, La2O3 11.85, Ce2O3 6.18, Fe2O3 1.96, MgO 0.70, CaO 0.04, SrO 6.67, BaO 6.82, K2O 11.53, total 98.53. The empirical formula (expressed to two decimal places) is (K0.50La0.15Sr0.13Ba0.09Ce0.08)Σ0.95(Nb0.70Cr0.19Fe0.05Al0.01Mg0.04Ti0.01)Σ1.00O3. Goldschmidtite is cubic, space group Pm3m, with unit-cell parameters: a = 3.9876(1) Å, V = 63.404(6) Å3, Z = 1, resulting in a calculated density of 5.32(3) g/cm3. Goldschmidtite is the K-analog of isolueshite, (Na,La)NbO3. Raman spectra of goldschmidtite exhibit many second-order broad bands at 100 to 700 cm–1 as well as a pronounced peak at 815 cm–1, which is possibly a result of localmore »ordering of Nb and Cr at the B site. The name goldschmidtite is in honor of the eminent geochemist Victor Moritz Goldschmidt (1888–1947), who formalized perovskite crystal chemistry and identified KNbO3 as a perovskite-structured compound.« less