Mantle xenoliths from Northern Victoria land, Antarctica: evidence for heterogeneous lithospheric metasomatism

M. Coltorti, Costanza Bonadiman, Barbara Faccini, Massimiliano Melchiorre, T. Ntaflos, Franca Siena

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


Alkaline basic magmas of the McMurdo Volcanic Group (MMVG, Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica) carry abundant mantle xenoliths, which allow to highlight the petrological features of Antarctic lithospheric mantle. Samples from Greene Point are anhydrous, mainly protogranular, coarse-grained harzburgites and lherzolites, with ol and opx crystals up to 0.8 cm in size, whereas xenoliths from Baker Rocks, a locality about 100 km south from Greene Point, are characterized by abundant amphibole both disseminated and in vein. Superimposed metasomatic textures with glass enclosing crystal boundaries and/or forming patches between opx and spinel, are found in many xenoliths of both localities.

Primary phases in anhydrous and hydrous populations are comparable in composition. Analogously secondary ol tends to be lower in MgO and Ni, and higher in CaO contents, while secondary sp is cr#-richer and mg#-poorer.

Several differences can be observed in the metasomatic parageneses of the two localities. With respect to primary assemblage Greene Point xenoliths present: (i) secondary cpx with higher SiO2 and lower Al2O3 contents and no variation in TiO2 contents (Perinelli et al., 2006), (ii) secondary sp with higher TiO2 contents (up to 8 wt% in idiomorphic crystals in the glassy patches) and (iii) glasses have high-silica (57.9–67.8 wt%) and alkali contents (12.9–16.1 wt%), but relatively low TiO2 values (0.21–2.90 wt%).

With respect to primary assemblage Baker Rocks xenoliths present: (i) secondary cpx with higher Al2O3 and lower SiO2 contents and strong TiO2 enrichment (up to 4 wt%) (Coltorti et al., 2004), (ii) no variation TiO2 contents in secondary sp, and (iii) glass having low silica (45.9–58.9 wt%) and alkali (3.94–9.59 wt%) contents but very high TiO2 (1.96–6.74 wt%) abundances.

The distinct geochemical features of secondary paragenesis (including glasses and amphibole) could be explained by reaction with two metasomatic agents which differs mainly for the TiO2 contents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A108-A108
Number of pages1
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number18, Supplement
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventGoldschmidt Conference (16th : 2006) - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 27 Aug 20061 Sept 2006


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