Impact of melt segregation on tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) petrogenesis

Tracy Rushmer*, Matt Jackson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Although sophisticated geochemical studies tell us that tonolite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) plutonic complexes must be formed by partial melting of metabasaltic source material, they cannot tell us the tectonic regime in which this crust was formed, nor how large volumes of TTG magma can be generated. This study suggests that a solution to TTG arc crust formation requires a strongly interdisciplinary approach, to resolve the tectonic setting (slab melt verses mafic lowermost crust sources), the time and length scales for melting and extraction, and the role of melt segregation mechanisms in the formation of both Archean TTGs and more recent adakite-like magmas. The aim of this paper is to present an experimental approach which, when coupled with numerical models, allows some of these issues to be addressed. The experiments are designed to reproduce the local changes in bulk composition that are predicted to occur in response to buoyancy-driven melt segregation along grain edges and associated compaction of the solid residue. The preliminary study presented here documents the changes we observe in the melt composition and melt and solid phase modes between earlier direct partial melting and the new segregation equilibration experiments on metabasalt bulk compositions. The results suggest that if dynamic melt segregation and equilibrium processes are active, they may modify the normally robust geochemical indicators, such as Mg-numbers, which are typically used to develop models of TTG petrogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-336
Number of pages12
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Earth Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


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