Original paper

Water contents of pyroxenes in intraplate lithospheric mantle

Bonadiman, Costanza; Hao, Yantao; Coltorti, Massimo; Dallai, Luigi; Faccini, Barbara; Huang, YU Xia

Abstract

Water contents of clinopyroxene and orthopyroxene in mantle peridotites from various xenolith occurrences in intraplate settings (both oceanic and continental) were determined by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). Samples from the following localities were studied: Sal Island (Cape Verde Archipelago); Baker Rocks and Greene Point (Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica); Panshishan and Lianshan (Subei Basin, Eastern China). They represent well-known localities where detailed petrographical and geochemical studies have already been carried out or areas which are currently under investigation. The water incorporated in these pyroxenes is low (cpx, 37-399 ppm; opx, 9-166 ppm) or very low (as in Greene Point, Antarctica; cpx, 5-16 ppm; opx, 9-16 ppm). Within each population there is no clear correlation with melting parameters such as MgO contents in any single mineral. Results are compared with the available literature data on water contents in mantle pyroxenes, which include peridotites from on-craton (hosted by kimberlitic-type magmas) and off-craton (hosted by alkaline basic magmas), as well as subarc mantle settings. The "relatively dry" (cpx, 140-528 ppm; opx, 38-280 ppm) sub-arc mantle xenoliths (Peslier et al., 2002) are shown to be wetter than the intraplate (off-craton) xenoliths. Cratonic mantle pyroxenes are only represented by a few determinations on garnet peridotites and eclogite from Kaapvaal and Colorado Plateau. They record the highest water contents (cpx, 342-1012 ppm; opx, 180-491 ppm) so far measured in mantle pyroxenes from various tectonic settings. Despite the limited data set, the indication that the cratonic mantle is strongly hydrated is compelling. Rehydration of cratonic mantle may be related to plate subduction (i.e., Colorado Plateau) or alternatively to metasomatic enrichment (i.e., Kaapvaal Craton). However, assuming that the water content was initially very low, metasomatic events in intra-plate settings, similar to those presented here, would not be able to produce a significant increase in pyroxenes water content. According to our own data and those reported in the literature, it appears that substantial rehydration may instead occur at convergent plate margins.