Results of integrated geological-geophysical examination of Makhtesh Ramon area (southern Israel) on diamond-bearing associations

Lev Eppelbaum*, Sergey Kouznetsov, Vladimir Vaksman, Claude Klepatch, Sergey Smirnov, Luodmila Sazonova, Natalia Korotaeva, Alexander Surkov, Sonya Itkis, Menashe Shemesh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Larson in 1991 put forward a hypothesis on the extremely high development of diamond-bearing kimberlites in the Mid-Cretaceous period. In Israel, the Cretaceous magmatic activity is well known in the central Negev. The first microdiamond in Israel was found in northern Negev and the authors associated its origin with an extraterrestrial event. An integrated analysis of several geological and geophysical factors enables us to select for detailed investigations the area of Makhtesh Ramon canyon situated near the town of Mizpe-Ramon (northern Negev). Data of aero- and land magnetic surveys as well as self-potential method were analyzed using modern interpreting methods. Application of geochemical/geophysical ion-selective analysis testifies to presence of kimberlite-like bodies located at a small depth. Performed mineralogical analyses of subsurface geological associations allowed to identifying a variety of minerals of diamondiferous association: chrome-diopside, orange garnet, bright-crimson pyrope, picroilmenite, black spinel, olivine, anatase, tourmaline, aggregates of perovskite, yttrium phosphate, moissanite and corundum. The recent geochemical analyses signify to discovering of quasi-kimberlite rock - meimechite, traces of REE and some platinum group elements also testify presence of diamondiferous associations. Finally, five diamonds (with a size exceeding 1 mm) and more than 400 microdiamonds (< 1 mm) have been discovered in this area. Thus, we can unambiguously concluding that the Makhtesh Ramon area contains typical products of kimberlite pipe destruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-120
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2004
EventRemote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring, GIS Applications, and Geology III - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 9 Sep 200311 Sep 2003


  • Diamond identification
  • Indicator minerals
  • Integrated interpretation
  • Makhtesh Ramon


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