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Melting of plagioclase+spinel lherzolite at low pressures (0.5GPa): An experimental approach to the evolution of basaltic melt during mantle refertilisation at shallow depths

Abstract : This article appeared in a journal published by Elsevier. The attached copy is furnished to the author for internal non-commercial research and education use, including for instruction at the authors institution and sharing with colleagues. Other uses, including reproduction and distribution, or selling or licensing copies, or posting to personal, institutional or third party websites are prohibited. In most cases authors are permitted to post their version of the article (e.g. in Word or Tex form) to their personal website or institutional repository. Authors requiring further information regarding Elsevier's archiving and manuscript policies are encouraged to visit: The presence of plagioclase + spinel lherzolites among ocean floor samples and in some ophiolite complexes invites speculation on their origin and relationships to processes of magmatism and lithosphere refertilisation beneath mid-ocean ridges. In an experimental approach to their petrogenesis, we have determined the compositions of liquids and co-existing minerals in the six phase assemblage [liquid + olivine + orthopyroxene + clinopyroxene + plagioclase + spinel] at 0.5 GPa and 1100°C to 1200°C. In our experimental approach we maintained the olivine Mg# [Mg / (Mg + Fe)] close to 90 (i.e., 88.8-95.5) but varied plagioclase from anorthite to albite. The major variations in liquid compositions are related to plagio-clase composition. Liquids have much lower MgO and FeO and higher SiO 2 and Al 2 O 3 than liquids in the 6-phase plagioclase + spinel lherzolite at 0.75 GPa and 1 GPa. Liquids are quartz-normative (silica-oversaturated) for plagioclase that are more calcic than An 40 but nepheline-normative (critically silica-undersaturated) for plagio-clase that are more sodic than An 25. Liquid compositions are quite unlike natural MORB glasses with similar Mg# (i.e., compatible with parental magmas from lherzolitic mantle with Mg# ≈ 90). Our study provides no support for models of MORB petrogenesis which suggest extraction of near-solidus melts from plagioclase lherzolite at low pressure. Similarly, referring to numerical models of melting volumes beneath mid-ocean ridges (Langmuir et al., 1992; McKenzie and Bickle, 1988) in which melt increments are calculated for different sites and these increments pooled to form MORB, our data argue that melts equilibrated with plagioclase ± spinel lherzolite at b 1 GPa cannot be significant components of such 'pooled melt' focussed from within the melting volume. The compositions of minerals from plagioclase ± spinel lherzolite at Lanzo (northern Italy; Piccardo et al., 2007) are compared with our experimental assemblages at 0.5, 0.75 and 1 GPa, leading to the conclusion that the Lanzo plagioclase ± spinel lherzolites equilibrated at pressures between 0.75 and 1 GPa, at temperatures 100-200°C below the solidus. Field, petrological and geochemical studies argue that the Lanzo plagio-clase ± spinel lherzolites are 'refertilised' by the reaction of residual harzburgite or lherzolite with percolating intergranular basaltic magma (Piccardo et al., 2007). The experimental study suggests that the process of refertilisation took place at depths of 25-30 km. Our experimental data also define the co-variance of Na 2 O in coexisting plagioclase (An 25 to An 94) and clinopyroxene at 0.5 and 0.75 GPa. From these data, the Na 2 O content of clinopyroxene can be used as a predictor for the co-existing plagioclase composition in the very common occurrences of partially serpentinised peridotite in which plagioclase is completely saussuritised.
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Contributor : Françoise Chalot-Prat <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - 10:05:39 AM
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Françoise Chalot-Prat, Trevor Falloon, David Green, William Hibberson. Melting of plagioclase+spinel lherzolite at low pressures (0.5GPa): An experimental approach to the evolution of basaltic melt during mantle refertilisation at shallow depths. Lithos, Elsevier, 2013, 172-173, pp.61-80. ⟨10.1016/j.lithos.2013.03.012⟩. ⟨hal-02938796⟩



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