Experimental constraints on major and trace element partitioning during partial melting of eclogite

Stephan Klemme*, Jonathan D. Blundy, Bernard J. Wood

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    391 Citations (Scopus)


    Isobaric partial melting experiments were performed on an Fe-free synthetic composition to simulate partial melting of subducted oceanic crust. Nominally anhydrous experiments at 3.0 GPa yielded melts in equilibrium with garnet (13 to 16 mol.% grossular) and aluminous clinopyroxene (14 to 16 wt.% Al2O3). Melt compositions show decreasing Si and alkalis and increasing Ca, Mg, and Ti contents with increasing temperatures. Experiments at 1200 and 1300°C were rutile saturated, whereas experiments at 1400°C contained no residual rutile. We argue that during the initial stages of subduction, accessory rutile is likely to be stable in subsolidus eclogites of average midocean ridge basalt composition and that only large degrees of partial melting will eradicate rutile from an eclogitic source. At 3 GPa, any eclogites with a bulk TiO2 content of ≥1.5 wt.% rutile will produce rutile-saturated partial melts, except at very high degrees of melting. At higher pressures, all bulk Ti may dissolve in clinopyroxene and garnet, leaving no accessory rutile. Trace element partition coefficients for 24 trace elements between clinopyroxene, garnet, and melt were determined by secondary-ion mass spectrometry analysis of experimental run products at 1400°C and 3 GPa. Partition coefficients for the rare earth elements agree well with previous studies and have been evaluated using the lattice strain model. Partitioning data for high-field strength elements indicate complementary DZr/DHf for clinopyroxene and garnet. Partial melting of an eclogitic component of different modal compositions may therefore explain both subchondritic and superchondritic Zr/Hf ratios. Superchondritic Zr/Hf has recently been observed in some ocean island basalts (OIB), and this may be taken as further evidence for components of recycled oceanic crust in OIB. The data also indicate slight Nb/Ta fractionation during partial melting of bimineralic eclogite, which is not, however, sufficient to explain some recently observed Nb/Ta fractionation in island arc rocks. Accessory rutile, however, can explain such fractionation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3109-3123
    Number of pages15
    JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
    Issue number17
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002


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