Mantle Plumes Can Destroy Diamonds
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About The Author

Dr. Richard Ernst is Scientist in Residence at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada and is also a guest professor at Tomsk State University (TSU), Siberia, Russia. He and a global network of collaborators are researching all aspects of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) including their dramatic flood basalts, plumbing systems of giant dyke swarms (vertical magma-filled fractures), sill provinces (horizontal magma-filled zones) and layered mafic-ultramafic intrusions, associated kimberlites, carbonatites and felsic provinces, and links with mineral, metal and hydrocarbon resource exploration, supercontinent breakup, catastrophic environmental/climate change including mass extinction events, and planetary analogues.


Mantle Plumes Can Destroy Diamonds

Kimberlites (pipe-like bodies) are the host rocks for the majority of diamonds, and kimberlites are dominantly located in regions of ancient continental crust. However, only a small proportion of kimberlites are diamond-bearing. It has been long realized that diamonds are not inherently part of kimberlite melts but are “stowaways.” They reside in the mantle roots of ancient crustal blocks and are grabbed by ascending kimberlite magmas (see Figure). The potential for diamonds in kimberlites depends on their abundance and distribution...

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