Petrology of Lamproites

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In this book, the first dedicated entirely to the petrology of lamproites and their relationships to other potassium-rich rocks, the objective of the authors is to provide a comprehensive critical review of the occurrence, mineralogy, geochemistry, and petrogenesis of the clan. Although lamproites represent one of the rarest of all rock types, they are both economically and scientifically important and we believe the time is ripe for a review of the advances made in their petrology over the past two decades. Many of these advances stem from the recognition of diamond-bearing lamproites in Western Australia and the reclassification of several anomalous diamond-bearing kim- berlites as lamproites. Consequently lamproites, previously of interest only to a small number of mineralogists specializing in exotica outside the mainstream of igneous petrol- ogy, have become prime targets for diamond exploration on a worldwide basis. Contemporaneously with these developments, petrologists realized that lamproites possess isotopic signatures complementary to those of midoceanic ridge basalts, alkali basalts, kimberlites, and other mantle-derived melts. These isotopic studies provided new insights into the long-term development of the mantle by suggesting that the source regions of lamproites were metasomatically enriched in light rare earth and other incompatible elements up to 1-2 Ga prior to the melting events leading to generation of the magma.