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Chrome spinel-hosted melt inclusions in Paleoproterozoic primitive volcanic rocks, northern Finland: evidence for coexistence and mixing of komatiitic and picritic magmas

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 17:02 authored by Hanski, E, Vadim Kamenetsky
The Paleoproterozoic ca. 2.05. Ga ultramafic volcanic rocks occurring in the Central Lapland Greenstone Belt are classified as Ti-enriched komatiites and picrites. Some of the rocks are high in Cr (ca. 4000. ppm) and contain fresh chrome spinel grains hosting melt inclusions up to 50 µm in size. These inclusions enabled us to study the compositional features of the magmas at the time of melt entrapment. Chrome spinels are divided into the low-Ti and high-Ti types reflecting crystallization from komatiitic and picritic parental magmas, respectively. There is a good correlation between the major element compositions of the melt inclusions and their host spinels, with picritic melts being found in high-Ti spinels and komatiitic melts in low-Ti spinels. MgO contents measured in the inclusions range between 10 and 22. wt.%. Trace element analyses performed by LA-ICP-MS and SIMS revealed two contrasting magma compositions, which are either depleted or highly enriched in incompatible elements and produce convex-upwards or LREE-enriched chondrite-normalized REE patterns, respectively. Due to the shielding effect of the host spinel, melt inclusions provide information on the original mobile trace element contents (Li, K, Ba, Sr, Be) and LILE/HFSE ratios of the magmas.Interestingly, spinel grains carrying both depleted and enriched melt inclusions were discovered in a single komatiitic sample, demonstrating the coexistence and mixing of two different primitive magma types. The whole-rock and melt-inclusion geochemical data together with previous Nd and Os isotopic results indicate an asthenospheric origin of the magmas with insignificant crustal contamination or interaction with the subcontinental lithospheric mantle. We suggest that adiabatic upwelling of a Paleoproterozoic mantle plume was able to simultaneously produce komatiitic and picritic magmas from an originally depleted source via dynamic melting involving re-fertilization and re-melting processes and re-melting processes, though the details of these processes are difficult to constrain in a quantitative manner. These processes should be taken into account when using the geochemistry of Precambrian primitive magmas for assessing the temporal evolution of mantle plume reservoirs.


Australian Research Council


Publication title

Chemical Geology








School of Natural Sciences


Elsevier BV

Place of publication

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Rights statement

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences

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