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The science of studying diamond inclusions for understanding Earth history has developed significantly over the past decades, with new instrumentation and techniques applied to diamond sample archives revealing the stories contained within diamond inclusions. This chapter reviews what diamonds can tell us about the deep carbon cycle over the course of Earth’s history. It reviews how the geochemistry of diamonds and their inclusions inform us about the deep carbon cycle, the origin of the diamonds in Earth’s mantle, and the evolution of diamonds through time.
This chapter reviews the distribution of carbon-bearing phases in the crust, mantle, and the core. It presents conditions of stability of various carbon-bearing phases – such as carbonate minerals, carbon-bearing fluids, graphite, diamond, and carbides – and how these stabilities put limits on the carbon budget of the mantle. The chapter also discusses expectations about how stability may have varied throughout geologic time, given the thermal and redox evolution of the Earth. Finally, this chapter also presents recent discoveries about carbon mineral evolution.
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