Abstract

The pressures required for diamond and coesite formation far exceed conditions reached by even the deepest present-day orogenic crustal roots. Therefore the occurrence of metamorphosed continental crust containing these minerals requires processes other than crustal thickening to have operated in the past. Here we report the first in situ finding of diamond and coesite, characterized by micro-Raman spectroscopy, in high-pressure granulites otherwise indistinguishable from granulites found associated with garnet peridotite throughout the European Variscides. Our discovery confirms the provenance of Europe's first reliable diamond, the “Bohemian diamond,” found in A.D. 1870, and also represents the first robust evidence for ultrahigh-pressure conditions in a major Variscan crustal rock type. A process of deep continental subduction is required to explain the metamorphic pressures and the granulite–garnet peridotite association, and thus tectonometamorphic models for these rocks involving a deep orogenic crustal root need to be significantly modified.

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