Super-deep diamonds (SDDs) are those that form at depths between ∼300 and ∼1000 km in Earth’s mantle. They compose only 1% of the entire diamond population but play a pivotal role in geology, as they represent the deepest direct samples from the interior of our planet. Ferropericlase, (Mg,Fe)O, is the most abundant mineral found as inclusions in SDDs and, when associated with low-Ni enstatite, which is interpreted as retrogressed bridgmanite, is considered proof of a lower-mantle origin. As this mineral association in diamond is very rare, the depth of formation of most ferropericlase inclusions remains uncertain. Here we report geobarometric estimates based on both elasticity and elastoplasticity theories for two ferropericlase inclusions, not associated with enstatite, from a single Brazilian diamond. We obtained a minimum depth of entrapment of 15.7 (±2.5) GPa at 1830 (±45) K (∼450 [±70] km depth), placing the origin of the diamond-inclusion pairs at least near the upper mantle–transition zone boundary and confirming their super-deep origin. Our analytical approach can be applied to any type of mineral inclusion in diamond and is expected to allow better insights into the depth distribution and origin of SDDs.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.