Entrained macrocryst minerals as a key to the source region of olivine nephelinites: Humberg, Kaiserstuhl, Germany


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Entrained macrocryst minerals as a key to the source region of olivine nephelinites: Humberg, Kaiserstuhl, Germany
Journal of Petrology
Ulianov A., Muntener O., Ulmer P., Pettke T.
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Olivine nephelinites commonly contain macrocrysts of olivine and clinopyroxene. Some of these macrocrysts might represent fragments of the source region of the host magma transported to the Earth surface. If this hypothesis is correct these fragments can be used to characterize the composition of the source region and to put constraints on the magma generation process. In this study, we investigate the origin of macrocrysts and mineral aggregates from an olivine nephelinite from the Kaiserstuhl, Germany. We focus on clinopyroxenes (Cpx), which can be divided into three groups. Cpx I is relict Cpx from aggregates with deformed olivine that is depleted in Ca and characterized by strong light rare earth element (LREE) fractionation, low Ti/Eu and negative high field strength element (HFSE) anomalies. Its geochemical signature is consistent with formation by carbonatite metasomatism and with equilibration in the Presence of orthopyroxene. Cpx II is Ca-rich Cpx, forming both aggregates with deformed olivine and individual macrocrysts. The LREE, as for Cpx I, are strongly fractionated. Convex REE patterns may be present. The depletion in HFSE is less pronounced. Cpx III is oscillatory zoned Cpx phenociysis showing enrichment in Ca, convex REE patterns and no HFSE anomalies. The transition in the trace element abundances between the Cpx of the three groups is gradual. However, Cpx I and H did not crystallize from the host magma, as demonstrated by the presence of kink-bands and undulose extinction in the associated olivine and by the composition of alkali aluminosilicate glass inclusions in Cpx H. Based on the Cpx relationships, we interpret the studied suite of macrocrysts and mineral aggregates as a mixture of disintegrated fragments of the source region of the host olivine nephelinite. The process of melt generation was multi-stage. A primary carbonatite melt ascending from deeper levels in the mantle, probably from the dolomite-garnet peridotite stability field, reacted with mantle peridotite along the solidus ledge in the system lherzolite-CO2 (< 20-22 kbar) and started to crystallize carbonate minerals. Because of its low solidus temperature, the resulting carbonate-wehrlite assemblage melted incongruently with the formation of additional clinopyroxene. The carbonatite melt evolved during crystallization of carbonate minerals and concomitant incongruent melting of the carbonate-wehrlite, accompanied by the segregation of incipient alkali aluminosilicate melts. As a consequence of fast reaction rates in the presence of a carbonatite melt, this process probably took place under disequilibrium conditions. Further melting of the assemblage wehrlite + alkali aluminosilicate melt led to the generation of the olivine nephelinite magma. It entrained fragments of the wehrlite and brought them to the surface.
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18/04/2009 0:56
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14/02/2022 8:55
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