Trace element partitioning in the granulite facies

Franziska Nehring*, Stephen F. Foley, Pentti Hölttä

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Analyses of trace elements in the mineral phases of granulites provide important information about the trace element distribution in the lower crust. Since granulites are often considered residues of partial melting processes, trace element characteristics of their mineral phases may record mineral/melt equilibria thus giving an opportunity to understand the nature and composition of melts in the lower continental crust. This study provides an extensive set of mineral trace element data obtained by LA-ICP-MS analyses of mafic and intermediate granulites from Central Finland. Mass balance calculations using the analytical data indicate a pronounced contribution of the accessory minerals apatite for the REE and ilmenite for the HFSE. Coherent mineral/mineral ratios between samples point to a close approach to equilibrium except for minerals intergrown with garnet porphyroblasts. Mineral trace element data were used for the formulation of a set of Dmineral/melt partition coefficients that is applicable for trace element modelling under lower crustal conditions. Dmineral/melt were derived by the application of predictive models and using observed constant mineral/mineral ratios. The comparison of the calculated Dmineral/melt with experimental data as well as the relationship between mineral trace element contents and a leucosome with a composition close to an equilibrium melt provides additional constraints on mineral/melt partitioning. The D values derived in this study are broadly similar to magmatic partition coefficients for intermediate melt compositions. They provide a first coherent set of D values for Sc, V, Cr and Ni between clinopyroxene, amphibole, garnet, orthopyroxene, ilmenite and melt. In addition, they emphasize the strong impact that ilmenite exerts on the distribution of Nb and Ta.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-519
Number of pages27
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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