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Experimental tests of low degree peridotite partial melt compositions: implications for the nature of anhydrous near-solidus peridotite melts at 1 GPa

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posted on 2023-05-16, 10:56 authored by Trevor FalloonTrevor Falloon, Green, DH, O'Neill, H, Hibberson, WO
We present results of an experimental study to determine the nature of minimum to near-minimum melt compositions in equilibrium with upper mantle peridotite mineralogy at 1 GPa. We confirm earlier conclusions that anhydrous melts of lherzolite at 1 GPa are basaltic with ∼ 15-20% normative diopside, > 10% normative olivine and at low degrees of melting are Na 2O and K 2O-rich and nepheline-normative in 'fertile' mantle. The most extreme Na 2O-rich minimum melt composition is in equilibrium with an albite-bearing harzburgite residue at 1220°C. This melt composition is nepheline-normative with ∼ 64% SiO 2 and about ∼ 12% Na 2O. Our results disagree with recent reports [1,2] that peridotitic minimum melt compositions have an 'andesitic' character at 1 GPa. We present reversal experiments showing that these latter melts are not in equilibrium with a spinel or plagioclase lherzolite upper mantle assemblage. We use our new data and data from the literature to define minimum melts (i.e. melts in equilibrium with olivine + orthopyroxene + clinopyroxene + plagioclase ± spinel) for fertile or enriched to refractory lherzolite at 1 GPa. The minimum melt compositions are nepheline + olivine-normative for sodium-rich sources and hypersthene + olivine-normative for refractory or depleted compositions with very calcic plagioclase or high Ca/Ca + Na ratios in spinel lherzolite. It is not possible to derive quartz-normative basaltic or 'andesitic' melt compositions by partial melting of anhydrous lherzolite at 1 GPa. © 1997 Elsevier Science B.V.


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Earth and Planetary Sciences










School of Natural Sciences



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