An experimental study of the grain-scale processes of peridotite melting: implications for major and trace element distribution during equilibrium and disequilibrium melting

Abstract

The grain-scale processes of peridotite melting were examined at 1340°C and 1.5 GPa using reaction couples formed by juxtaposing pre-synthesized clinopyroxenite against pre-synthesized orthopyroxenite or harzburgite in graphite and platinum-lined molybdenum capsules. Reaction between the clinopyroxene and orthopyroxene-rich aggregates produces a melt-enriched, orthopyroxene-free, olivine + clinopyroxene reactive boundary layer. Major and trace element abundance in clinopyroxene vary systematically across the reactive boundary layer with compositional trends similar to the published clinopyroxene core-to-rim compositional variations in the bulk lherzolite partial melting studies conducted at similar P– T conditions. The growth of the reactive boundary layer takes place at the expense of the orthopyroxenite or harzburgite and is consistent with grain-scale processes that involve dissolution, precipitation, reprecipitation, and diffusive exchange between the interstitial melt and surrounding crystals. An important consequence of dissolution–reprecipitation during crystal melt interaction is the dramatic decrease in diffusive reequilibration time between coexisting minerals and melt. This effect is especially important for high charged, slow diffusing cations during peridotite melting and melt-rock reaction. Apparent clinopyroxenemelt partition coefficients for REE, Sr, Y, Ti, and Zr, measured from reprecipitated clinopyroxene and coexisting melt in the reactive boundary layer, approach their equilibrium values reported in the literature. Disequilibrium melting models based on volume diffusion in solid limited mechanism are likely to significantly underestimate the rates at which major and trace elements in residual minerals reequilibrate with their surrounding melt.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Cascio2008AnES, title={An experimental study of the grain-scale processes of peridotite melting: implications for major and trace element distribution during equilibrium and disequilibrium melting}, author={Mauro Lo Cascio and Yan Liang and Nobumichi Shimizu and Paul C. Hess}, year={2008} }