An integrated study of microstructural, geochemical, and seismic properties of the lithospheric mantle above the Kerguelen plume (Indian Ocean)

J. Bascou*, G. Delpech, A. Vauchez, B. N. Moine, J. Y. Cottin, G. Barruol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Peridotite xenoliths brought up to the surface by the volcanism of the Kerguelen Islands represent a mantle that has been affected by a high degree of partial melting followed by intense melt percolation above the Kerguelen plume. These xenoliths are therefore particularly suitable to investigate effects of melt-rock interaction on crystallographic fabrics (lattice-preferred orientation (LPO)) of peridotite minerals and on the LPO-induced seismic properties of peridotites above a mantle plume. We have studied a suite of 16 ultramafic samples representative of different degrees of partial melting and magma-rock interaction among which the protogranular harzburgites are the least metasomatised xenoliths and dunites are the ultimate stage of metasomatism. Olivine LPO is characterized by high concentration of [010] axes perpendicular to the foliation and [100] axes close to the lineation or distributed in the foliation plane in harzburgites, whereas the high concentration of [100] axes is parallel to the lineation and [010] axes is perpendicular to the assumed foliation in dunites. Olivine LPO in harzburgites is interpreted as being due to a deformation regime in axial compression or transpression. The fabric strength of olivine decreases progressively from protogranular to poikilitic harzburgites and finally to dunites, for which it remains nevertheless significant (J index ≥ 3.8). Seismic properties calculated from LPO of minerals indicate that metasomatism at higher melt/rock ratio lowers the P wave velocities. The most significant difference between harzburgites and dunites corresponds to the distribution of S wave anisotropy. Harzburgites display the maximum of anisotropy within the foliation plane and the minimum of anisotropy perpendicular to the foliation plane, whereas the lowest anisotropy is parallel to the lineation for dunites.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberQ04036
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008

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