Melting phlogopite-rich MARID: Lamproites and the role of alkalis in olivine-liquid Ni-partitioning

Michael W. Förster*, Dejan Prelević, Harald R. Schmück, Stephan Buhre, Horst R. Marschall, Regina Mertz-Kraus, Dorrit E. Jacob

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we show how veined lithospheric mantle is involved in the genesis of ultrapotassic magmatism in cratonic settings. We conducted high pressure experiments to simulate vein + wall rock melting within the Earth's lithospheric mantle by reacting assemblages of harzburgite and phlogopite-rich hydrous mantle xenoliths. These comprised a mica-, amphibole-, rutile-, ilmenite-, diopside (MARID) assemblage at 3–5 GPa and 1325–1450 °C. Melting of the MARID assemblages results in infiltration of melt through the harzburgite, leading to its chemical alteration. At 3 and 4 GPa, melts are high in K2O (> 9 wt%) with K2O/Na2O > > 2 comparable to anorogenic lamproites. Higher pressures and temperatures (5 GPa/1450 °C) lead to increasing MgO contents of the melt and to some extent lower K2O contents (5–7 wt%) at equally high K2O/Na2O ratios. Our experiments provide insights into the role of alkalis in nickel-partitioning (DNi) between olivine and ultrapotassic melt. We observe that the high contents of Na, K, and Al are indicative of high DNi values, implying that the melt polymerization is the dominant factor influencing the olivine/melt nickel partitioning. The change of DNi as a function of melt composition results in a pressure independent, empirical geothermometer: [Formula presented].  Element oxides represent the composition of the glass (in wt%), and DNi is the liquid/olivine Ni-partitioning coefficient. We propose that this geothermometer is applicable to all natural silicate melts that crystallized olivine in a temperature interval between 1000 and 1600 °C. Application to glass-olivine pairs from calc-alkaline settings (Mexico), MORB (East Pacific Rise), and OIB (Hawaii) yielded reasonable values of 996–1199 °C, 1265 °C, and 1330 °C, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-440
Number of pages12
JournalChemical Geology
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2018


  • geothermometry
  • high-pressure experiments
  • lamproite
  • metasomatism
  • Ni-partitioning


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