Zimmi diamonds (Sierra Leone) have 500 million year mantle residency times whose origin is best explained by rapid tectonic exhumation to shallower depths in the mantle, associated with continental collision but prior to kimberlite eruption. Here we present spectroscopic data for a new suite of Zimmi sulphide-bearing diamonds that allow us to evaluate the link between their spectroscopic features and their unusual geological history. Cathodoluminesence (CL) imaging of these diamonds revealed irregular patterns with abundant deformation lamellae, associated with the diamonds’ tectonic exhumation. Vacancies formed 0/− 0 during deformation were subsequently naturally annealed to form vacancy clusters, NV centres and H3 (NVN ). The brownish-yellow to greenish-yellow colours observed in Zimmi Ib-IaA diamonds result from visible absorption by a combination of isolated substitutional nitrogen (N ) and deformation-related vacancy clusters. Colour-forming centres and other spectro- scopic features can all be attributed to the unique geological history of Zimmi Ib-IaA diamonds and their rapid exhumation after formation. . . . . . Keywords Zimmi diamond Type Ib-IaA Spectroscopy Isolated nitrogen West African craton Deformation Introduction Preservation of N in natural diamonds is normally explained through either short mantle residency times or storage at T < Type Ib diamonds contain abundant
Mineralogy and Petrology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 5, 2018
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