Application of thermodynamic modelling to natural mantle xenoliths: examples of density variations and pressure–temperature evolution of the lithospheric mantle

Luca Ziberna, Stephan Klemme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

In this paper, we show how the results of phase equilibria calculations in different mantle compositions can be reconciled with the evidence from natural man- tle samples. We present data on the response of bulk rock density to pressure (P), temperature (T) and compositional changes in the lithospheric mantle and obtain constraints on the P–T evolution recorded by mantle xenoliths. To do this, we examine the mantle xenolith suite from the Qua- ternary alkali basalts of Pali-Aike, Patagonia, using phase equilibria calculation in six representative compositions. The calculations were done subsolidus and in volatile- free conditions. Our results show that the density change related to the spinel peridotite to garnet peridotite transi- tion is not sharp and strongly depends on the bulk composi- tion. In a depleted mantle composition, this transition is not reflected in the density profile, while in a fertile mantle it leads to a relative increase in density with respect to more depleted compositions. In mantle sections characterized by hot geothermal gradients (~70 mW/m2), the spinel–garnet transition may overlap with the lithosphere–asthenosphere boundary. Phase equilibria calculations in peridotitic com- positions representative of the Pali-Aike mantle were also used to constrain the origin and evolution of the mantle xenoliths. Our results indicate that the mineral modes and compositions, and the mineral zonation reported for the low-temperature peridotites (spinel and spinel + garnet harzburgites and lherzolites), are linked to a cooling event in the mantle which occurred long before the eruption of the host basalts. In addition, our phase equilibria calcula- tions show that kelyphitic rims around garnets, as those observed in the high-temperature garnet peridotites from Pali-Aike, can be explained simply by decompression and do not require additional metasomatic fluid or melt.
Original languageEnglish
Article number16
Number of pages14
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Volume171
Early online date23 Jan 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

Keywords

  • Density
  • Xenoliths
  • P–T conditions
  • Thermodynamic modelling
  • Upper mantle

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