Distribution of K, Rb, Sr and Ba in some minerals relevant to basalt genesis

W. L. Griffin*, V. Rama Murthy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


The abundance levels of K, Rb, Sr and Ba in pyroxenes, olivines and garnets of ultramafic rocks are too low to yield a satisfactory composition for an upper mantle composed of these phases. This deficiency can be corrected by incorporation of a combination of plagioclase, hornblende and phlogopite, all of which have been shown previously to be stable in upper mantle environments. Concentrations of these elements in the above minerals, as determined in the present work, have been employed to calculate the abundances in various model mantles. Empirically determined distribution coefficients have then been used to calculate the trace element characteristics of liquids derived by partial melting of these model mantles. Comparison of these calculated partial melts with oceanic tholeiitic and alkali basalts indicates that the presence of 2-5 % hornblende and trace amounts (< 1 2%) of phlogopite in the upper mantle are necessary for the generation of these basalts. Alkali basalts may be derived through 5-10 % partial melting of this mantle, and 20-30 % melts resemble oceanic tholeiites. Such an upper mantle will satisfy many other geophysical and geochemical requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1389-1414
Number of pages26
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1969
Externally publishedYes


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