Diamond genesis — A synthesis of opposing views

Research paper by R. H. Mitchell, J. H. Crocket

Indexed on: 01 Nov '71Published on: 01 Nov '71Published in: Mineralium Deposita


Estimates of the pressure and temperature in the region of kimberlite magma generation are compatible with the formation of diamond in its own thermodynamic stability field as deduced from high pressure experimental synthesis of diamond. However, if diamond growth is allowed only within its stability field, preservation during ascent of kimberlite magma and many properties of diamond distribution in kimberlite pipes as well as some of the geochemical properties of diamond are very difficult to explain. Metastable diamond growth in the laboratory is well established and its occurrence in natural systems is proposed. A theory of genesis with synthesis of diamond seed nucleii in kimberlite magma at depth in the mantle and with continued metastable growth during ascent and in kimberlite magma pools at the base of the crust is proposed. Eruption of kimberlite pipes to the surface terminates diamond growth.