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An experimental study of the effects of melt composition on plagioclase-melt equilibria at 5 and 10 kbar: implications for the origin of magmatic high-An plagioclase

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 09:53 authored by Panjasawatwong, Y, Leonid Danyushevsky, Anthony CrawfordAnthony Crawford, Harris, KL
An experimental investigation of plagioclase crystallization in broadly basaltic/andesitic melts of variable Ca# (Ca/(Ca+Na)*100) and Al# (Al/(Al+Si)*100) values and H2O contents has been carried out at high pressures (5 and 10 kbar) in a solid media piston-cylinder apparatus. The H2O contents of glasses coexisting with liquidus or near-liquidus plagioclases in each experiment were determined via an FTIR spectroscopic technique. This study has shown that melt Ca# and Al#, H2O content and crystallization pressure all control the composition of liquidus plagioclase. Increasing melt Ca# and Al# increase An content of plagioclase, whereas the effect of increasing pressure is the opposite. However, the importance of the role played by each of these factors during crystallization of natural magmas varies. Melt Ca# has the strongest control on plagioclase An content, but melt Al# also exerts a significant control. H2O content can notably increase the An content of plagioclase, up to 10 mol% for H2O-undersaturated melts, and 20 mol% for H2O-saturated melts. Exceptionally calcic plagioclases (up to An100) in some primitive subduction-related boninitic and related rocks cannot be attributed to the presence of the demonstrated amounts of H2O (up to 3 wt%). Rather, they must be due to the involvement of extremely refractory (CaO/Na2O>18) magmas in the petrogenesis of these rocks. Despite the refractory nature of some primitive MORB glasses, none are in MORB. These plagioclases were likely produced from more refractory melts with CaO/Na2O=12-15, or from melts with exceptionally high Al2O3(>18%). Magmas of appropriate compositions to crystallize these most calcic plagioclases are sometimes found as melt inclusions in near liquidus phenocrysts from these rocks, but are not known among wholerock or glass compositions. The fact that such melts are not erupted as discrete magma batches indicates that they are effectively mixed and homogenized with volumetrically dominant, less refractory magmas. The high H2O contents (∼6 wt%) in some high-Al basaltic arc magmas may be responsible for the existence of plagioclases up to An95 in arc lavas. However, an alternative possibility is that petrogenesis involving melts with abnormally high CaO/Na2O values (>8) may account for the presence of highly anorthitic plagioclases in these rocks. © 1995 Springer-Verlag.


Publication title

Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology










School of Natural Sciences



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Berlin-Heidelberg, Germany

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Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences

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