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Open AccessReview

Polymineralic Inclusions in Megacrysts as Proxies for Kimberlite Melt Evolution—A Review

Institut für Mineralogie, Universität Münster, Corrensstraße 24, D-48149 Münster, Germany
Minerals 2019, 9(9), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9090530
Received: 25 July 2019 / Revised: 28 August 2019 / Accepted: 29 August 2019 / Published: 30 August 2019
Polymineralic inclusions in megacrysts have been reported to occur in kimberlites worldwide. The inclusions are likely the products of early kimberlite melt(s) which invaded the pre-existing megacryst minerals at mantle depths (i.e., at pressures ranging from 4 to 6 GPa) and crystallized or quenched upon emplacement of the host kimberlite. The abundance of carbonate minerals (e.g., calcite, dolomite) and hydrous silicate minerals (e.g., phlogopite, serpentine, chlorite) within polymineralic inclusions suggests that the trapped melt was more volatile-rich than the host kimberlite now emplaced in the crust. However, the exact composition of this presumed early kimberlite melt, including the inventory of trace elements and volatiles, remains to be more narrowly constrained. For instance, one major question concerns the role of accessory alkali-halogen-phases in polymineralic inclusions, i.e., whether such phases constitute a common primary feature of kimberlite melt(s), or whether they become enriched in late-stage differentiation processes. Recent studies have shown that polymineralic inclusions react with their host minerals during ascent of the kimberlite, while being largely shielded from processes that affect the host kimberlite, e.g., the assimilation of xenoliths (mantle and crustal), degassing of volatiles, and secondary alteration. Importantly, some polymineralic inclusions within different megacryst minerals were shown to preserve fresh glass. A major conclusion of this review is that the abundance and mineralogy of polymineralic inclusions are directly influenced by the physical and chemical properties of their host minerals. When taking the different interactions with their host minerals into account, polymineralic inclusions in megacrysts can serve as useful proxies for the multi-stage origin and evolution of kimberlite melt/magma, because they can (i) reveal information about primary characteristics of the kimberlite melt, and (ii) trace the evolution of kimberlite magma on its way from the upper mantle to the crust. View Full-Text
Keywords: kimberlite; kimberlite melt; megacrysts; polymineralic inclusions; mantle metasomatism; decarbonation reactions kimberlite; kimberlite melt; megacrysts; polymineralic inclusions; mantle metasomatism; decarbonation reactions
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Bussweiler, Y. Polymineralic Inclusions in Megacrysts as Proxies for Kimberlite Melt Evolution—A Review. Minerals 2019, 9, 530.

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