University Of Tasmania

File(s) not publicly available

Factors Controlling Chemistry of Magmatic Spinel: an Empirical Study of Associated Olivine, Cr-Spinel and Melt Inclusions from Primitive Rocks

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 13:17 authored by Vadim KamenetskyVadim Kamenetsky, Anthony CrawfordAnthony Crawford, Sebastien MeffreSebastien Meffre
Compositions of ∼ 2500 spinel-olivine pairs and 400 melt inclusion-spinel pairs have been analysed from 36 igneous suites from oceanic, arc and intraplate tectonic settings. Our data confirm that Cr-spinel mg-number is largely controlled by melt composition, but also influenced by octahedral site substitutions, and rate of cooling. Lavas quenched in submarine environments tend to have higher mg-number at a given cr-number than slowly cooled subaerial lavas and peridotites. Unlike mg-number, Cr-spinel Al2O3 and T1O2 contents show good correlations with melt composition, with only limited post-entrapment modifications. Our data suggest that increased activity of Al2O3 decreases the partitioning of TiO2 into spinels. The Al2O3 content of Cr-spinel is a useful guide to the degree of partial melting of mantle periditites; however, this same relationship is obscured in volcanic rocks. Al2O3 contents of volcanic Cr-spinels are mostly determined by melt composition rather than mantle source composition. The data also suggest that most spinels from residual mantle peridotites can be readily differentiated from those hosted in volcanic rocks. Mantle peridotile spinel tend to have lower TiO2 and higher Fe2+/Fe3+ ratios than spinel from volcanic rocks. The spinel compositions in our database can be subdivided on the basis of tectonic setting and mode of occurrence using an Al2O3 vs TiO2 diagram. A total of seven fields can be distinguished with varying degrees of overlap. This diagram can then be used to determine the tectonic setting of spinel from altered mafic igneous rocks such as serpentinites or meta-basalts, or detrital spinel in sandstones.


Publication title

Journal of Petrology










School of Natural Sciences


Oxfird University Press

Place of publication

Oxford, England

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania