Origin of eclogite and pyroxenite xenoliths from the Victor kimberlite, Canada, and implications for Superior craton formation

K. V. Smit*, T. Stachel, R. A. Creaser, R. B. Ickert, S. A. DuFrane, R. A. Stern, M. Seller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


A suite of 30 eclogite and pyroxenite xenoliths recovered from the Jurassic Victor kimberlite in the western Superior Province are investigated to determine their formation and emplacement in the sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM). The samples have a wide compositional range, including low-Mg and high-Mg varieties. The low-Mg eclogites have a shallow origin as plagioclase-bearing protoliths that were subsequently subducted and emplaced into the SCLM. This is supported by their generally flat MREE to HREE compositions, the presence of kyanite and a positive Eu anomaly in the kyanite-bearing sample, as well as δ18O in three low-Mg eclogites that are higher than the pristine mantle value. LREE depletion in the low-Mg eclogites, along with unradiogenic 87Sr/86Sr indicate that they were not affected by widespread metasomatism after emplacement in the SCLM. The high-Mg eclogites and pyroxenites have compositional characteristics that require a distinct origin to the low-Mg eclogites. Their bulk compositions, LREEN-enriched trace element patterns and in particular, occurrence of unradiogenic 187Os/188Os in pyroxenite, is consistent with formation by reaction of broadly siliceous melts (generated from the melting of low-Mg eclogites) with depleted peridotite. A subduction origin of the eclogites studied here is consistent with seismic and field-based studies that have reported terrane accretion by successive subduction of the west-east orientated terranes in the western Superior Province. Although the timing of eclogite and pyroxenite formation could not be constrained, radiogenic 187Os/188Os require long-term isolation from the convecting mantle and supports a Neorchaean age for their formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-337
Number of pages30
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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