TTGs and adakites: Are they both slab melts?

Kent C. Condie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

656 Citations (Scopus)


Although both high-Al TTG (tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite) and adakite show strongly fractionated REE and incompatible element patterns, TTGs have lower Sr, Mg, Ni, Cr, and Nb/Ta than most adakites. These compositional differences cannot be easily related by shallow fractional crystallization. While adakites are probably slab melts, TTGs may be produced by partial melting of hydrous mafic rocks in the lower crust in arc systems or in the Archean, perhaps in the root zones of oceanic plateaus. It is important to emphasize that geochemical data can be used to help constrain tectonic settings, but it cannot be used alone to reconstruct ancient tectonic settings. Depletion in heavy REE and low Nb/Ta ratios in high-Al TTGs require both garnet and low-Mg amphibole in the restite, whereas moderate to high Sr values allow little, if any, plagioclase in the restite. To meet these requirements requires melting in the hornblende eclogite stability field between 40- and 80-km deep and between 700 and 800 °C. Some high-Al TTGs produced at 2.7 Ga and perhaps again at about 1.9 Ga show unusually high La/Yb, Sr, Cr, and Ni. These TTGs may reflect catastrophic mantle overturn events at 2.7 and 1.9 Ga, during which a large number of mantle plumes bombarded the base of the lithosphere, producing thick oceanic plateaus that partially melted at depth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-44
Number of pages12
Issue number1-4 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Adakite
  • Arc systems
  • Archean tectonics
  • Mantle plume event
  • TTG


Dive into the research topics of 'TTGs and adakites: Are they both slab melts?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this