Diffusion in diamond. I. Carbon isotope mapping of natural diamond

John Craven, Ben Harte, D. Fisher, D.J. Schulze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent advances in ion microprobe instrumentation and techniques have enabled the mapping of C isotope ratios across the whole of a polished plate of a natural diamond from Guaniamo, Venezuela. The resultant map of C isotope variation closely matches the cathodoluminescence image of the growth structure of the diamond and, therefore, indicates an extremely limited scale of diffusion of C atoms since the time of diamond formation. This result is compatible with the limited mobility of N atoms shown by the IaAB aggregation state of the diamond. Inclusions in the diamond are eclogitic, in common with many Guaniamo diamonds with temperatures of formation of around 1200ºC. At such temperature the IaAB aggregation state indicates a mantle residence time on the order of 1 Ga. Such temperatures of formation and mantle residence times are common to many natural diamonds; thus the extremely limited diffusion of C isotopes shown by the mapping indicates that many diamonds will retain the C isotope compositions of their initial formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-200
JournalMineralogical Magazine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Diamond
  • SIMS


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