Diamonds, Eclogites, and the Oxidation State of the Earth's Mantle

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Science  02 Jul 1993:
Vol. 261, Issue 5117, pp. 66-68
DOI: 10.1126/science.261.5117.66


The reaction dolomite + 2 coesite →← diopside + 2 diamond + 2O2 defines the coexistence of diamond and carbonate in mantle eclogites. The oxygen fugacity of this reaction is ∼1 log unit higher at a given temperature and pressure than the oxygen fugacities of the analogous reactions that govern the stability of diamond in peridotite. This difference allows diamond-bearing eclogite to coexist with peridotite containing carbonate or carbonate + diamond. This potential coexistence of diamond-bearing eclogite and carbonate-bearing peridotite can explain the presence of carbon-free peridotite interlayered with garnet pyroxenites that contain graphitized diamond in the Moroccan Beni Bousera massif at the Earth's surface and the preferential preservation of diamond-bearing eclogitic relative to peridotitic xenoliths in the Roberts Victor kimberlite.