Origin of depleted mantle xenoliths from South Africa

Svetlana Tessalina, William Griffin, Suzanne O'Reilly

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Most mineral assemblages in depleted mantle xenoliths are garnet-free, and not amendable to available geothermobarometers. Forthis reason, the provenance and origin of depleted mantle xenoliths are still uncer tain. A suite of depleted harzburgite xenoliths from the Kimberley pipe in South Africa contains symplectites of spinel-clinopyroxene, which also are common in depleted peridotites worldwide and interpreted as the breakdown products of pre-existing garnet. Recalculated garnet compositions were used to estimate the P-T conditions of the harzburgites; these fall in the lower-P end of the range for xenoliths from cratonic mantle, but on a very high geotherm (P = 3-5 GPa and T = 1450-1600 C). These parameters correspond to the garnet-spinel transition zone, where garnet begins breaking down to spinel at about 3 GPa. This garnet-spinel transition zone is one of major phase boundaries in the upper mantle, but is geophysically invisible. MgO-FeO modelling and the Mgf residual olivine suggest that these peridotites can be residues after 30 to 40% partial melting of the upper mantle. Re-Os model ages suggest these melting events occurred from 3.6 to 2.7 Ga, corresponding to the major crust-extraction events in the Kaapval Craton. These data confirm the emerging consensus that the most primitive Archaean SCLM was a depleted harzburgite-dunite, representing the residues of high-degree melt extraction at pressures of a few GPa.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventInternational Geological Congress (34th : 2012) - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 5 Aug 201210 Aug 2012


ConferenceInternational Geological Congress (34th : 2012)


Dive into the research topics of 'Origin of depleted mantle xenoliths from South Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this