Oxidised phase relations of a primitive basalt from Grenada, Lesser Antilles

C. C. Stamper, E. Melekhova, J. D. Blundy, R. J. Arculus, M. C S Humphreys, R. A. Brooker

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

40 Citations (Scopus)


A series of liquidus determinations is reported for a primitive arc basalt (15.4 wt % MgO, 45.5 wt % SiO2) from Grenada, Lesser Antilles, at anhydrous, H2O-undersaturated and H2O-saturated conditions in the pressure range 1 atm to 1.7 GPa. Fe3+σFe of high-pressure experimental glasses as measured by μXANES ranges from 0.44 to 0.86, corresponding to oxygen fugacities (fO2) between 3.2 and 7.8 log units above the nickel-nickel oxide redox buffer (NNO). 1-atm experiments conducted from NNO - 2.5 to + 3.8 show that increasing fO2 mainly increases the forsterite content (Fo) of olivine and has little effect on phase relations. The crystallisation sequence at lower crustal pressures for all water contents is forsteritic olivine + Cr-rich spinel followed by clinopyroxene. The anhydrous liquidus is depressed by 100 and 120 °C in the presence of 2.9 and 3.8 wt % H2O, respectively. H2O-undersaturated experiments at NNO + 3.2 to + 4.5 produce olivine of equivalent composition to the most primitive olivine phenocrysts in Grenadan picrites (Fo91.4). We conclude that direct mantle melts originating beneath Grenada could be as oxidised as ~NNO + 3, consistent with the uppermost estimates from olivine-spinel oxybarometry of high Mg basalts. μXANES analyses of olivine-bearing experimental glasses are used to develop a semi-empirical oxybarometer based on the value of (Formula presented.) when all Fe is assumed to be in the Fe2+ state (KD FeT). The oxybarometer is tested on an independent data set and is able to reproduce experimental fO2 to ≤1.2 log units. Experiments also show that the geochemically and petrographically distinct M- and C-series lavas on the island can be produced from hydrous melting of a common picritic source. Low pressures expand the olivine stability field at the expense of clinopyroxene, enriching an evolving melt in CaO and forcing differentiation to take place along a C-series liquid line of descent. Higher pressure conditions allow early and abundant clinopyroxene crystallisation, rapidly depleting the melt in both CaO and MgO, and thus creating the M-series.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Arc
  • Experimental
  • Grenada
  • Olivine
  • Oxybarometry
  • Redox


Dive into the research topics of 'Oxidised phase relations of a primitive basalt from Grenada, Lesser Antilles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • Cumulate Thermobarometry

    Blundy, J. D.


    Project: Research

Cite this