Compositional and pressure controls on calcium and magnesium isotope fractionation in magmatic systems

Chunfei Chen*, Jin-Xiang Huang, Stephen F. Foley, Zaicong Wang, Frédéric Moynier, Yongsheng Liu*, Wei Dai, Ming Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Stable isotope fractionation in magmatic systems depends on equilibrium isotope fractionation between different phases. However, current equilibrium stable isotope theory mostly assumes ideal crystal structures and simple chemical compositions, but it is unclear how the pressure and complex compositional variations in natural microscopic mineral structures affect inter-mineral stable isotope fractionation and thus control stable isotope fractionation in macroscopic magmatic systems. Here, we calculate the Ca[sbnd]O and Mg[sbnd]O bond lengths controlled by pressure and compositional variations of coexisting garnet (Grt) and clinopyroxene (Cpx) in the Roberts Victor eclogites from the Kaapvaal Craton and use these data as a proof of concept to interpret their inter-mineral Ca and Mg isotopic compositions (Δ44/40CaGrt-Cpx and Δ26MgGrt-Cpx). Our results show that the Ca[sbnd]O difference between Grt and Cpx (ΔCa[sbnd]OGrt-Cpx) shows a significant increase with CaO content from 3.4 to 13.6 wt.% in Grt and with pressure from 2.9 to 6.9 GPa. ΔCa[sbnd]OGrt-Cpx has an excellent negative correlation with inter-mineral Ca isotope fractionation corrected for temperature effect (Δ44/40CaGrt-Cpx × T2/106), indicating that inter-mineral Ca isotope fractionation is controlled by pressure and compositional variations of the Grt through effects on the bond lengths. Inter-mineral Mg isotope fractionation corrected for temperature effect (Δ26MgGrt-Cpx × T2/106) in these eclogites shows a negative correlation with pressure but no obvious correlations with the mineral compositions, suggesting the dominant role of pressure effect in addition to temperature. The Mg[sbnd]O bond length of Grt increases by about 0.02 Å with increasing CaO content in Grt of these eclogites, implying a mild compositional effect on inter-mineral Mg isotope fractionation. The results suggest that pressure and compositional variations in minerals control the equilibrium stable isotope fractionation between minerals. Utilizing the Ca isotope fractionation factor controlled by crystal chemistry of garnet, our modelling indicates that partial melting of eclogite in the mantle could not significantly fractionate Ca isotopes and, therefore, that low δ44/40Ca values in previously reported basalts cannot be attributed to the involvement of eclogite in their sources. This suggests that crystal chemistry exerts major controls on isotope fractionation in magmatic systems in addition to temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-270
Number of pages14
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Volume290
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Stable isotopes
  • Pressure
  • Compositional variations
  • Eclogites
  • Magmatic systems

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Compositional and pressure controls on calcium and magnesium isotope fractionation in magmatic systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this