Fossilized Melts in Mantle Wedge Peridotites.

Research paper by Kosuke K Naemura, Takao T Hirajima, Martin M Svojtka, Ichiko I Shimizu, Tsuyosi T Iizuka

Indexed on: 06 Jul '18Published on: 06 Jul '18Published in: Scientific Reports


The shallow oxidized asthenosphere may contain a small fraction of potassic silicate melts that are enriched in incompatible trace elements and volatiles. Here, to determine the chemical composition of such melt, we analysed fossilized melt inclusions, preserved as multiphase solid inclusions, from an orogenic garnet peridotite in the Bohemian Massif. Garnet-poor (2 vol.%) peridotite preserves inclusions of carbonated potassic silicate melt within Zn-poor chromite (<400 ppm) in the clinopyroxene-free harzburgite assemblage that equilibrated within the hot mantle wedge (Stage 1, > 1180 °C at 3 GPa). The carbonated potassic silicate melt, which has a major element oxide chemical composition of KO = 5.2 wt.%, CaO = 17 wt.%, MgO = 18 wt.%, CO = 22 wt.%, and SiO = 20 wt.%, contains extremely high concentrations of large ion lithophile elements, similar to kimberlite melts. Peridotites cooled down to ≅800 °C during Stage 2, resulted in the growth of garnet relatively poor in pyrope content, molar Mg/(Mg + Fe + Ca + Mn), (ca. 67 mol.%). This garnet displays a sinusoidal REE pattern that formed in equilibrium with carbonatitic fluid. Subsequently, subduction of the peridotite resulted in the formation of garnet with a slightly higher pyrope content (70 mol.%) during the Variscan subduction Stage 3 (950 °C, 2.9 GPa). These data suggest the following scenario for the generation of melt in the mantle wedge. Primarily, infiltration of sediment-derived potassic carbonatite melt into the deep mantle wedge resulted in the growth of phlogopite and carbonate/diamond. Formation of volatile-bearing minerals lowered the density and strength of the peridotite. Finally, phlogopite-bearing carbonated peridotite rose as diapirs in the mantle wedge to form carbonated potassic silicate melts at the base of the overriding lithosphere.