Experimental phase and melting relations of metapelite in the upper mantle: implications for the petrogenesis of intraplate magmas

Spandler, Carl, Yaxley, Greg, Green, David H., and Scott, Dean (2010) Experimental phase and melting relations of metapelite in the upper mantle: implications for the petrogenesis of intraplate magmas. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 160 (4). pp. 569-589.

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We performed a series of piston-cylinder experiments on a synthetic pelite starting material over a pressure and temperature range of 3.0–5.0 GPa and 1,100–1,600°C, respectively, to examine the melting behaviour and phase relations of sedimentary rocks at upper mantle conditions. The anhydrous pelite solidus is between 1,150 and 1,200°C at 3.0 GPa and close to 1,250°C at 5.0 GPa, whereas the liquidus is likely to be at 1,600°C or higher at all investigated pressures, giving a large melting interval of over 400°C. The subsolidus paragenesis consists of quartz/coesite, feldspar, garnet, kyanite, rutile, ±clinopyroxene ±apatite. Feldspar, rutile and apatite are rapidly melted out above the solidus, whereas garnet and kyanite are stable to high melt fractions (>70%). Clinopyroxene stability increases with increasing pressure, and quartz/coesite is the sole liquidus phase at all pressures. Feldspars are relatively Na-rich [K/(K + Na) = 0.4–0.5] at 3.0 GPa, but are nearly pure K-feldspar at 5.0 GPa. Clinopyroxenes are jadeite and Ca-eskolaite rich, with jadeite contents increasing with pressure. All supersolidus experiments produced alkaline dacitic melts with relatively constant SiO2 and Al2O3 contents. At 3.0 GPa, initial melting is controlled almost exclusively by feldspar and quartz, giving melts with K2O/Na2O ~1. At 4.0 and 5.0 GPa, low-fraction melting is controlled by jadeite-rich clinopyroxene and K-rich feldspar, which leads to compatible behaviour of Na and melts with K2O/Na2O ≫ 1. Our results indicate that sedimentary protoliths entrained in upwelling heterogeneous mantle domains may undergo melting at greater depths than mafic lithologies to produce ultrapotassic dacitic melts. Such melts are expected to react with and metasomatise the surrounding peridotite, which may subsequently undergo melting at shallower levels to produce compositionally distinct magma types. This scenario may account for many of the distinctive geochemical characteristics of EM-type ocean island magma suites. Moreover, unmelted or partially melted sedimentary rocks in the mantle may contribute to some seismic discontinuities that have been observed beneath intraplate and island-arc volcanic regions.

Item ID: 11725
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0967
Keywords: experimental petrology, sediment melting, mantle heterogeneity, oceanic basalt, crustal recycling
Funders: Australian Research Council
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2010 00:29
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040304 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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