Natural Graphite Cuboids
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.3390/min9020110
Graphite cuboids are abundant in ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic rocks and are generally interpreted as products of partial or complete graphitization of pre-existing diamonds. The understanding of the graphite cuboid structure and its formation mechanisms is still very limited compared to nanotubes, cones, and other carbon morphologies. This paper is devoted to the natural occurrences of graphite cuboids in several metamorphic and magmatic rocks, including diamondiferous metamorphic assemblages. The studied cuboids are polycrystalline aggregates composed either of numerous smaller graphite cuboids with smooth surfaces or graphite flakes radiating from a common center. Silicates, oxides, and sulphides are abundant in all the samples studied, testifying that the presence of oxygen, sulfur, or sulphides in natural systems does not prevent the spherulitic growth of graphite. The surface topography and internal morphology of graphite cuboids combined with petrological data suggest that graphite cuboids originated from a magmatic or metamorphic fluid/melt and do not represent products of diamond-graphite transformation processes, even in diamond-bearing rocks.