An investigation into the Hawaiian mantle from a xenolithic perspective

Shantanu Keshav, Florida International University


Salt Lake Crater (SLC), on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, is best known for its wide variety of crustal and mantle xenoliths. SLC is only the second locality in oceanic regimes where deeper portions of the upper mantle (i.e., garnet-bearing xenoliths) have been sampled. These garnet-bearing xenoliths, that contain clinopyroxene (cpx), orthopyroxene (opx), olivine, and garnet, are the focus of this study Opx is present in small amounts. Cpx has exsolved opx, spinel, and garnet. In addition, many xenoliths contain spinel-cored garnets. In some xenoliths, opx crystals contain exsolved cpx and spinel. Olivine, cpx, and garnet are in chemical equilibrium with each other. Opx is not in chemical equilibrium with the other dominant minerals. The origin of these xenoliths is interpreted on the basis of liquidus phase relations in the simplified system CaO-MgO-Al2O3-SiO 2 (CMAS) system at 3.0 and 5.0 GPa. The occurrence of spinel-cored garnets and the Ol-Cpx-Gt assemblage suggests that the depth of crystallization of the SLC xenoliths examined was ∼100–110 km (i.e., uppermost asthenosphere). The experimental study is concerned with the equilibrium melting of garnet clinopyroxenite at 2.0–2.5 GPa and it explores the role of such melting process in the generation of tholeiitic and alkalic lavas in ocean island basalts (OIBs). The starting material is a tholeiitic picrite in terms of its normative composition. Its solidus temperature is 1295 ± 15°C and 1332 ± 15°C at 2.0 and 2.5 GPa, respectively. At 2.0 GPa, the liquidus phase is opx that is in reaction relation with the melt. It reacts out at ∼40°C below the liquidus as cpx and spinel appear. Garnet appears long after opx disappearance. Opx is absent in runs at 2.5 GPa. Cpx and garnet appear simultaneously on the liquidus at 2.5 GPa, and are the only assemblage throughout the melting interval. At both the pressures, the partial melts are olivine-hypersthene normative at high melt fraction ( F), becoming moderately to strongly nepheline-normative, as F decreases. It is concluded that the involvement of CO 2 (and perhaps H2O) is necessary for the generation of alkalic melts in most OIBs.

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Recommended Citation

Keshav, Shantanu, "An investigation into the Hawaiian mantle from a xenolithic perspective" (2004). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3110371.