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Article: Kimberlite


Morphology and Volcanology

  • Kimberlite structures are emplaced as carrot-shaped, vertical intrusions termed pipes.
  • The carrot shape is formed due to a complex intrusive process of kimberlitic magma.
  • Kimberlite classification is based on differing rock facies associated with specific magmatic activity.
  • The morphology of kimberlite pipes is the result of explosive diatreme volcanism.
  • Kimberlite pipes can have a sheeted dyke complex and range in diameter from 75 meters to 1.5 kilometers.


  • The location and origin of kimberlitic magmas are subjects of contention.
  • Kimberlites have been classified into basaltic and micaceous varieties based on petrographic observations.
  • Later revisions led to the classification of group I and group II kimberlites.
  • Group II kimberlites were reclassified as orangeites due to their closer affinities to lamproites.
  • Group I kimberlites are CO-rich ultramafic potassic igneous rocks with specific mineral assemblages.

Group I Kimberlites

  • Group I kimberlites are dominated by primary forsteritic olivine and carbonate minerals.
  • They exhibit a distinctive inequigranular texture caused by macrocrystic and megacrystic phenocrysts.
  • The groundmass mineralogy is dominated by carbonate and significant amounts of forsteritic olivine.
  • Group I kimberlites have a fine- to medium-grained groundmass.
  • They contain trace minerals such as magnesian ilmenite, chromium pyrope, and phlogopite.

Olivine Lamproites

  • Olivine lamproites were previously called group II kimberlites or orangeites.
  • They are ultrapotassic, peralkaline rocks rich in volatiles.
  • Olivine lamproites are characterized by phlogopite macrocrysts and microphenocrysts.
  • The groundmass micas in olivine lamproites vary in composition.
  • Primary phases in the groundmass include zoned pyroxenes, spinel-group minerals, and Sr- and REE-rich minerals.

Kimberlitic Indicator Minerals

  • Kimberlites contain mineral species that indicate formation under high pressure and temperature.
  • These minerals serve as indicators of mantle conditions.
  • Some of these indicator minerals include chromi
  • The presence of these minerals is used in diamond exploration.
  • The chemical compositions of these minerals provide valuable information about the deep mantle.

Kimberlite Data Sources

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