Trace-element zoning in garnets from sheared mantle xenoliths

W. L. Griffin*, D. Smith, F. R. Boyd, D. R. Cousens, C. G. Ryan, S. H. Sie, G. F. Suter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)


Proton-microprobe analyses of garnets from sheared high-temperature ultramafic xenoliths reveal marked zonation of trace elements, paralleling trends in major and minor elements. Garnet rims (600-1000 μm wide) are enriched in Fe, Ti, Zr, Y and Ga, and either enriched or depleted in Cr, relative to cores. Zoning profiles for Ti and Zr are S-shaped and extend further into the grains than the Cr and Ga gradients. The profiles are consistent with the formation of Ti, Zr, Y-enriched garnet overgrowths, followed by diffusive equilibration between rim and core over years to hundreds of years. This enrichment in Fe, Ca, Al and incompatible elements is ascribed to melt infiltration and consequent melt-crystal exchange and garnet growth, shortly before eruption. Zr/Y is 1 to 2 in garnet cores but 4 to 5 in rims, and so the infiltrating melt may have been relatively alkalic. Major and trace element concentrations in such high-temperature sheared xenoliths are not likely to resemble those of primative mantle or of residual mantle depleted by melt extraction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-567
Number of pages7
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


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