SIMS determination of trace element partition coefficients between garnet, clinopyroxene and hydrous basaltic liquids at 2-7.5 GPa and 1080-1200°C

T. H. Green*, J. D. Blundy, J. Adam, G. M. Yaxley

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    421 Citations (Scopus)


    Trace element partition coefficients (D's) for up to 13 REE, Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf, Sr and Y have been determined by SIMS analysis of seven garnets, four clinopyroxenes, one orthopyroxene and one phlogopite crystallized from an undoped basanite and a lightly doped (200 ppm Nb, Ta and Hf) quartz tholeiite. Experiments were conducted at 2-7.5 GPa, achieving near-liquidus crystallization at relatively low temperatures of 1080-1200°C under strongly hydrous conditions (5-27 wt.% added water). Garnet and pyroxene D(REE) show a parabolic pattern when plotted against ionic radius, and conform closely to the lattice strain model of Blundy and Wood (Blundy, J.D., Wood, B.J., 1994. Prediction of crystal-melt partition coefficients from elastic moduli. Nature 372, 452-454). Comparison, at constant pressure, between hydrous and anhydrous values of the strain-free partition coefficient (D0) for the large cation sites of garnet and clinopyroxene reveals the relative importance of temperature and melt water content on partitioning. In the case of garnet, the effect of lower temperature, which serves to increase D0, and higher water content, which serves to decrease D0, counteract each other to the extent that water has little effect on garnet-melt D0 values. In contrast, the effect of water on clinopyroxene-melt D0 overwhelms the effect of temperature, such that D0 is significantly lower under hydrous conditions. For both minerals, however, the lower temperature of the hydrous experiments tends to tighten the partitioning parabolas, increasing fractionation of light from heavy REE compared to anhydrous experiments. Three sets of near-liquidus clinopyroxene-garnet two-mineral D values increase the range of published experimental determinations, but show significant differences from natural two-mineral D's determined for subsolidus mineral pairs. Similar behaviour is observed for the first experimental data for orthopyroxene-clinopyroxene two-mineral D's when compared with natural data. These differences are in large part of a consequence of the subsolidus equilibration temperatures and compositions of natural mineral pairs. Great care should therefore be taken when using natural mineral-mineral partition coefficients to interpret magmatic processes. The new data for strongly hydrous compositions suggest that fractionation of Zr-Hf-Sm by garnet decreases with increasing depth. Thus, melts leaving a garnet-dominated residuum at depths of about 200 km or greater may preserve source Zr/Hf and Hf/Sm. This contrasts with melting at shallower depths where both garnet and clinopyroxene will cause Zr-Hf-Sm fractionation. Also, at shallower depths, clinopyroxene-dominated fractionation may produce a positive Sr spike in melts from spinel lherzolite, but for garnet lherzolite melting, no Sr spike will result. Conversely, clinopyroxene megacrysts with negative Sr spikes may crystallize from magmas without anomalous Sr contents when plotted on mantle compatibility diagrams. Because the characteristics of strongly hydrous silicate melt and solute-rich aqueous fluid converge at high pressure, the hydrous data presented here are particularly pertinent to modelling processes in subduction zones, where aqueous fluids may have an important metasomatic role. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)165-187
    Number of pages23
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


    • Garnet
    • Hydrous melts
    • Mantle melting
    • Partition coefficients
    • Pyroxene
    • Trace elements

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