Article | Published:

The roles of pyroxenite and peridotite in the mantle sources of oceanic basalts

Nature Geoscience volume 10, pages 530535 (2017) | Download Citation

Abstract

Subduction of oceanic crust generates chemical and lithological heterogeneities in the mantle. An outstanding question is the extent to which these heterogeneities contribute to subsequent magmas generated by mantle melting, but the answer differs depending on the geochemical behaviour of the elements under investigation: analyses of incompatible elements (those that preferentially concentrate into silicate melts) suggest that recycled oceanic crust is an important contributor, whereas analyses of compatible elements (those that concentrate in crystalline residues) generally suggest it is not. Recently, however, the concentrations of Mn and Ni—two elements of varying compatibility—in early-crystallizing olivines, have been used to infer that erupted magmas are mixtures of partial melts of olivine-rich mantle rocks (that is, peridotite) and of metasomatic pyroxene-rich mantle rocks (that is, pyroxenite) formed by interaction between partial melts of recycled oceanic crust and peridotite. Here, we test whether melting of peridotite alone can explain the observed trend in olivine compositions by combining new experimental data on the partitioning of Mn between olivine and silicate melt under conditions relevant to basalt petrogenesis with earlier results on Ni partitioning. We show that the observed olivine compositions are consistent with melts of fertile peridotite at various pressures—importantly, melts from metasomatic pyroxenites are not required. Thus, although recycled materials may well be present in the mantle source regions of some basalts, the Mn and Ni data can be explained without such a contribution. Furthermore, the success of modelling the Mn–Ni contents of olivine phenocrysts as low-pressure crystallization products of partial melts of peridotite over a range of pressures implies a simple new approach for constraining depths of mantle melting.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    & Implications of a two-component marble-cake mantle. Nature 323, 123–127 (1986).

  2. 2.

    Oceanic island basalts and mantle plumes: the geochemical perspective. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 38, 133–160 (2010).

  3. 3.

    Mantle geochemistry: the message from oceanic volcanism. Nature 385, 219–229 (1997).

  4. 4.

    , & Recycling oceanic crust: quantitative constraints. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 4, 8003 (2003).

  5. 5.

    & Trace element composition of mantle end-members: implications for recycling of oceanic and upper and lower continental crust. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 7, Q04004 (2006).

  6. 6.

    et al. The amount of recycled crust in sources of mantle-derived melts. Science 316, 412–417 (2007).

  7. 7.

    , , & An olivine-free mantle source of Hawaiian shield basalts. Nature 434, 590–597 (2005).

  8. 8.

    & A possible role for garnet pyroxenite in the origin of the ‘garnet signature’ in MORB. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 124, 185–208 (1996).

  9. 9.

    , & Silica enrichment in the continental upper mantle via melt/rock reaction. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 164, 387–406 (1998).

  10. 10.

    , & The role of pyroxenite in basalt genesis: Melt-PX, a melting parameterization for mantle pyroxenites between 0.9 and 5 GPa. J. Geophys. Res. 121, 5708–5735 (2016).

  11. 11.

    & The relative effects of composition and temperature on olivine-liquid Ni partitioning: statistical deconvolution and implications for petrologic modeling. Chem. Geol. 275, 99–104 (2010).

  12. 12.

    , , & The origin of intra-plate ocean island basalts (OIB): the lid effect and its geodynamic implications. J. Petrol. 52, 1443–1468 (2011).

  13. 13.

    & Partitioning of Ni between olivine and siliceous eclogite partial melt: experimental constraints on the mantle source of Hawaiian basalts. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 156, 661–678 (2008).

  14. 14.

    High NiO content in mantle-derived magmas as evidence for material transfer from the Earth’s core. Dokl. Earth Sci. 389A, 437–439 (2003).

  15. 15.

    , , , & The effect of liquid composition on the partitioning of Ni between olivine and silicate melt. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 172, 3 (2017).

  16. 16.

    , , & The temperature and pressure dependence of nickel partitioning between olivine and silicate melt. J. Petrol. 54, 2521–2545 (2013).

  17. 17.

    , , & Fe–Mg partitioning between olivine and high-magnesian melts and the nature of Hawaiian parental liquids. J. Petrol. 52, 1243–1263 (2011).

  18. 18.

    & The importance of melt composition in controlling trace-element behaviour: an experimental study of Mn and Zn partitioning between forsterite and silicate melts. Chem. Geol. 117, 73–87 (1994).

  19. 19.

    & On the formulation of partition coefficients for trace elements distribution between minerals and magma. Chem. Geol. 11, 1–15 (1973).

  20. 20.

    & Olivine-liquid equilibrium. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 29, 275–289 (1970).

  21. 21.

    & Activity coefficients at low dilution of CrO, NiO and CoO in melts in the system CaO–MgO–Al2O3–SiO2 at 1,400 °C: using the thermodynamic behaviour of transition metal oxides in silicate melts to probe their structure. Chem. Geol. 231, 77–89 (2006).

  22. 22.

    & Determining the composition of high-pressure mantle melts using diamond aggregates. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 58, 2811–2827 (1994).

  23. 23.

    , , & Compositions of near-solidus peridotite melts from experiments and thermodynamic calculations. Nature 375, 308–311 (1995).

  24. 24.

    , & The effect of alkalis on the silica content of mantle-derived melts. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 62, 883–902 (1998).

  25. 25.

    Melting of garnet peridotite and the origin of komatiite and depleted lithosphere. J. Petrol. 39, 29–60 (1998).

  26. 26.

    & The composition of the Earth. Chem. Geol. 120, 223–253 (1995).

  27. 27.

    et al. Liquidus phase relations on the join diopside-forsterite-anorthite from 1 atm to 20 kbar: their bearing on the generation of crystallization of basaltic magma. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 66, 203–220 (1978).

  28. 28.

    A phase diagram for mid-ocean ridge basalts: preliminary results and implications for petrogenesis. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 74, 13–27 (1980).

  29. 29.

    , , , & A review of melt migration processes in the adiabatically upwelling mantle beneath oceanic spreading ridges. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. A 355, 283–318 (1997).

  30. 30.

    , , & The meaning of ‘mean F’: clarifying the mean extent of melting at ocean ridges. J. Geophys. Res. 100, 15045–15052 (1995).

  31. 31.

    & The significance of multiple saturation points in the context of polybaric near-fractional melting. J. Petrol. 45, 2349–2367 (2004).

  32. 32.

    , & Melt inclusion CO2 contents, pressures of olivine crystallization, and the problem of shrinkage bubbles. Am. Mineral. 100, 787–794 (2015).

  33. 33.

    , , , & Magma transport and olivine crystallization depths in Kı̄lauea’s east rift zone inferred from experimentally rehomogenized melt inclusions. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 185, 232–250 (2016).

  34. 34.

    Olivine-melt and orthopyroxene-melt equilibria. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 115, 103–111 (1993).

  35. 35.

    , , , & Lithological structure of the Galápagos Plume. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 14, 4214–4240 (2013).

  36. 36.

    , & A. Major element chemistry of ocean island basalts—conditions of mantle melting and heterogeneity of mantle source. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 289, 377–392 (2010).

  37. 37.

    , , , & Chemical heterogeneity in the Hawaiian mantle plume from the alteration and dehydration of recycled oceanic crust. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 361, 298–309 (2013).

  38. 38.

    Earth’s heterogeneous mantle: a product of convection-driven interaction between crust and mantle. Chem. Geol. 330–331, 274–299 (2012).

  39. 39.

    Isotopes, DUPAL, LLSVPs, and Anekantavada. Chem. Geol. 419, 10–28 (2015).

  40. 40.

    , & Assessing the presence of garnet-pyroxenite in the mantle sources of basalts through combined hafnium–neodymium–thorium isotope systematics. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 1, 1006 (1999).

  41. 41.

    , & Partitioning of U and Th during garnet pyroxenite partial melting: constraints on the source of alkaline ocean island basalts. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 265, 270–286 (2008).

  42. 42.

    , & Major element variations in Hawaiian shield lavas: source features and perspectives from global ocean island basalt (OIB) systematics. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 13, Q09009 (2012).

  43. 43.

    et al. Phantom Archean crust in Mangaia hotspot lavas and the meaning of heterogeneous mantle. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 396, 97–106 (2014).

  44. 44.

    et al. An electromotive force series in a borosilicate glass-forming melt. J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 67, C-106–C-108 (1984).

  45. 45.

    in Microbeam Analysis (ed. Newbury, D. E.) 239–246 (San Francisco Press, 1988).

  46. 46.

    et al. MPI-DING reference glasses for in situ microanalysis: new reference values for element concentrations and isotopic ratios. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 7, Q02008 (2006).

  47. 47.

    et al. Library of Experimental Phase Relations (LEPR): a database and Web portal for experimental magmatic phase equilibria data. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 9, Q03011 (2008).

  48. 48.

    , , & Experimentally determined mineral/melt partitioning of first-row transition elements (FRTE) during partial melting of peridotite at 3 GPa. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 104, 232–260 (2013).

  49. 49.

    , , & The geochemistry of the volatile trace elements As, Cd, Ga, In and Sn in the Earth’s mantle: new evidence from in situ analyses of mantle xenoliths. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 73, 1755–1778 (2009).

  50. 50.

    A semi-empirical manganese-in-garnet single crystal thermometer. Lithos 112S, 177–182 (2009).

  51. 51.

    & An experimental study of Fe–Mg partitioning between garnet and olivine and its calibration as a geothermometer. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 70, 59–70 (1979).

  52. 52.

    & Geothermobarometry in four-phase lherzolites II. New thermobarometers, and practical assessment of existing thermobarometers. J. Petrol. 31, 1353–1378 (1990).

  53. 53.

    An experimental study of the partitioning of Fe and Mg between garnet and orthopyroxene. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 86, 359–373 (1984).

  54. 54.

    The garnet-clinopyroxene Fe–Mg geothermometer—a reinterpretation of existing experimental data. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 99, 44–48 (1988).

  55. 55.

    & Nickel partitioning between olivine and silicate melt. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 40, 203–219 (1978).

  56. 56.

    , & An experimental study on the effect of temperature and melt composition on the partitioning of nickel between olivine and silicate melt. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 54, 1255–1265 (1990).

  57. 57.

    Partitioning of manganese between forsterite and silicate liquid. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 41, 1363–1374 (1977).

  58. 58.

    , & Mineralogical heterogeneities in the Earth’s mantle: constraints from Mn, Co, Ni and Zn partitioning during partial melting. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 307, 395–408 (2011).

  59. 59.

    & Elementary Thermodynamics for Geologists (Oxford Univ. Press, 1976).

  60. 60.

    & Equilibrium phase compositions and thermodynamic properties of olivines and pyroxenes in the system MgO–‘FeO’–SiO2. Am. Mineral. 52, 1364–1385 (1967).

  61. 61.

    & The stability of olivine and pyroxene in the Ni–Mg–Si–O system. Am. Mineral. 53, 257–268 (1968).

  62. 62.

    , & Partition coefficients for olivine-melt and orthopyroxene-melt systems. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 109, 212–224 (1991).

  63. 63.

    Temperature- and pressure-independent correlations of olivine/liquid partition coefficients and their application to trace-element partitioning. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 88, 126–132 (1984).

  64. 64.

    & Partitioning of Ni2+ between basaltic and synthetic melts and olivines—an experimental study. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 42, 801–816 (1978).

  65. 65.

    & Prediction of crystal-melt partition coefficients from elastic moduli. Nature 372, 452–454 (1994).

  66. 66.

    & A predictive model for rare earth element partitioning between clinopyroxene and anhydrous silicate melt. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 129, 166–181 (1997).

  67. 67.

    Revised effective ionic radii and systematic studies of interatomic distances in halides and chalcogenides. Acta Crystallogr. A 32, 751–767 (1976).

  68. 68.

    & The effect of temperature on the equilibrium distribution of trace elements between clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene, olivine and spinel in upper mantle peridotite. Chem. Geol. 221, 65–101 (2005).

  69. 69.

    & Major and trace element composition of the depleted MORB mantle (DMM). Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 231, 53–72 (2005).

  70. 70.

    & Ni in garnet thermometry—a new experimental calibration at 3.0–4.5 GPa of Ni–Mg exchange between garnet and olivine at upper mantle pressures. In 9th Int. Kimberlite Conf. Extended abstr. 9IKC-A-00200 (2008).

Download references

Acknowledgements

C. Ma and S. Creighton are thanked for their guidance and support using the electron microprobe, and for sharing xenolith data, respectively. Funding was provided by National Science Foundation grant EAR-1019886, National Aeronautics and Space Administration grant NNG04GG14G, and European Research Council grant 267764.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. University of Oxford, Department of Earth Sciences, Oxford OX1 3AN, UK

    • Andrew K. Matzen
    •  & Bernard J. Wood
  2. California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA

    • Michael B. Baker
    •  & Edward M. Stolper

Authors

  1. Search for Andrew K. Matzen in:

  2. Search for Bernard J. Wood in:

  3. Search for Michael B. Baker in:

  4. Search for Edward M. Stolper in:

Contributions

A.K.M. analysed the experiments, constructed the geochemical models and wrote the manuscript. B.J.W., M.B.B. and E.M.S. provided intellectual guidance throughout the project and wrote the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Andrew K. Matzen.

Supplementary information

PDF files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Information

Excel files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Information

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2968