Original paper

Ephemeral carbonate melts in the upper mantle: carbonate-silicate immiscibility in microveins and inclusions within spinel peridotite xenoliths, La Gomera, Canary Islands

Frezzotti, Maria-Luce; Touret, Jacques L.R.; Neumann, Else-Ragnhild


Carbonate droplets containing mafic silicate glass ± CO2 occur within mineral inclusions and late microveins in spinel-bearing ultramafic xenoliths (dunite, dunite-werhlite and pyroxenite) from La Gomera, Canary Islands. Primary carbonates are Mg-calcite (XCa 0.89-0.93) and dolomite (XCa 0.46-0.54), with low Na2O (≤ 0.1 wt.%) and variable MnO (0.2-8 wt.%). The mafic glass has high MgO (24-35 wt.%), FeO (1-18 wt.%) and SiO2 (40-55 wt.%), with low Al2O3, TiO2, CaO and alkalis. Mafic glass contains high amounts (> 10 wt %) of volatiles (i.e., H2O). The composite carbonate droplets represent a quenched liquid, resulting from unmixing within the inclusions of a carbonate-rich melt into separate carbonate- and silicate-rich phases. Modelling of initial bulk compositions suggests dolomitic melts, with high silica (≈ 10 wt.%) and H2O, but low alkali contents. If not protected within inclusions, these melts are ephemeral, unstable in the P-T field of spinel peridotites (10-18 kbar; 900-1000 °C). Mafic glass remnants in microveins represent a residual degassed hydrous mafic silicate fraction after decarbonation.


canary islandsmantle xenolithsmelt and fluid inclusionscarbonate-rich meltmafic glass