Silica-rich spinel harzburgite residues formed by fractional hybridization-melting of the intra-oceanic supra-subduction zone mantle: New evidence from TUBAF seamount peridotites


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Silica-rich spinel harzburgite residues formed by fractional hybridization-melting of the intra-oceanic supra-subduction zone mantle: New evidence from TUBAF seamount peridotites
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Bénard A., Müntener O., Pilet S., Arculus R.J., Nebel O.
Statut éditorial
Date de publication
Recent studies of serpentine-free, spinel peridotite xenoliths from the mantle lithosphere beneath the active Kamchatka and West Bismarck arcs have shown that these rocks are enriched in silica and highly depleted in incompatible elements in comparison with melting residues of either primitive or mid-ocean ridge mantle. It has been suggested that the silica-rich nature of peridotites from the intra-oceanic, fore- and sub-arc mantle lithosphere, collectively referred to as ‘Supra-Subduction Zone (SSZ) peridotites’, is primarily of residual origin and inherited from source processes during partial melting in the SSZ mantle asthenosphere (mantle wedge). However, quantifying the contribution of post-melting processes to the silica-rich nature of SSZ peridotites has remained challenging.
Here we report petrological and major and trace element data for a new suite of spinel harzburgite xenoliths from the mantle lithosphere beneath TUBAF seamount, located in the fore-arc region of New Ireland (Papua New Guinea area). All samples are fresh peridotites displaying coarse-grained protogranular textures, and sometimes high orthopyroxene (up to ∼29 wt%) at low clinopyroxene (≤4 wt%) contents, which are typical for SSZ peridotites worldwide. TUBAF peridotites in this study have suffered very little post-melting metasomatism through the formation of ≤1 wt% amphibole, which subsequently experienced decompression-induced breakdown during the xenolith ascent. Otherwise, the rocks display a high degree of inter-mineral equilibration and melting signatures preserved through sub-solidus re-equilibration. The bulk-rock chemistry of TUBAF peridotites record a Fe-Al correlation along the 25–30% melting isopleths from ∼2 to <1 GPa, in combination with the distinctive enrichment in silica and (TiO2, Al2O3, Na2O)-depletion of SSZ peridotites. This strongly supports the melting origin of these ‘residual SSZ signatures’. Bulk-rock and mineral lithophile trace element compositions of TUBAF xenoliths are similar to those of other residual SSZ peridotites, consistent with 25–30% of nearly-pure fractional melt extraction (critical mass porosity <0.001%) in the presence of a fluxing agent enriched in highly incompatible elements.
We re-assess earlier interpretations of the origins of TUBAF peridotites by melting at mid-ocean ridges. Instead, we show that these rocks have experienced their last melting event in the mantle wedge, similar to samples from the Izu-Bonin-Mariana fore-arc and the Kamchatka and West Bismarck arcs. We also demonstrate that post-melting metasomatism (including fibrous orthopyroxene that are absent from the samples in this study) is unrelated to the residual SSZ mantle signatures, for which we present the results of polybaric and isothermal flux-melting models including minor element partitioning parameterizations. These models imply that residual SSZ signatures form when previously depleted mantle protoliths are hybridized by hydrous, silica-rich liquids. From the unique Fe-Al correlation in TUBAF peridotites and their low temperatures of equilibration, it appears that fractional hybridization-melting processes forming these rocks occurred in a fore-arc environment with shallow mantle decompression, likely during Oligocene to Miocene subduction along the Manus-Kilinailau trench.
Geochemistry and Petrology
Web of science
Open Access
Fonds national suisse / 200021_162666
Commission Européenne / H2020 / 844795
Création de la notice
01/02/2021 11:23
Dernière modification de la notice
10/08/2021 6:10
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