The stability field of knorringite (Mg3Cr2Si3O12) is studied experimentally. Knorringite is stable at pressures above 10.5 GPa at 1200°C and 11.8 GPa at 1400°C. Below these pressures, knorringite decomposes to enstatite + eskolaite. A phase diagram of the pyrope-knorringite system is described based on the available experimental data. The solubility of the knorringite molecule in pyrope is essentially dependent only on pressure, and the Cr/Cr+Al value of garnet is considered to be an indicator of the minimum pressure of equilibration. Consideration of the genesis of Cr-rich pyrope and other peridotitic inclusions in diamonds indicates that the fractionation process should have taken place, at least at depths to ca. 240 km, to give rise to the Cr-rich complement of Cr-poor upper mantle materials such as undepleted lherzolite. The knorringite-rich peridotitic suite in diamond will be identified with this complement, which may be the material constituting the deep upper mantle.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science