Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse     
Perinelli C., Armienti P., Dallai L. Geochemical and O-isotope constraints on the evolution of lithospheric mantle in the Ross sea rift area (Antarctica). In: Contributions To Mineralogy and Petrology, vol. 151 (3) pp. 245 - 266. Springer Verlag, 2006.
Peridotite xenoliths found in Cenozoic alkali basalts of northern Victoria Land, Antarctica, vary from fertile spinel-lherzolite to harzburgite. They often contain glass-bearing pockets formed after primary pyroxenes and spinel. Few samples are composite and consist of depleted spinel lherzolite crosscut by amphibole veins and/or lherzolite in contact with poikilitic wehrlite. Peridotite xenoliths are characterized by negative Al2O3-Mg# and TiO2-Mg# covariations of clino- and orthopyroxenes, low to intermediate HREE concentrations in clinopyroxene, negative Cr-Al trend in spinel, suggesting variable degrees of partial melting. Metasomatic overprint is evidenced by trace element enrichment in clinopyroxene and sporadic increase of Ti-Fetot. Preferential Nb, Zr, Sr enrichments in clinopyroxene associated with high Ti-Fetot contents constrain the metasomatic agent to be an alkaline basic melt. In composite xenoliths, clinopyroxene REE contents increase next to the veins suggesting metasomatic diffusion of incompatible element. Oxygen isotope data indicate disequilibrium conditions among clinopyroxene, olivine and orthopyroxene. The highest δ18O values are observed in minerals of the amphibole-bearing xenolith. The δ18Ocpx correlations with clinopyroxene modal abundance and geochemical parameters (e.g. Mg# and Cr#) suggest a possible influence of partial melting on oxygen isotope composition. Thermobarometric estimates define a geotherm of 80C/GPa for the refractory lithosphere of NVL, in a pressure range between 1 and 2.5 GPa. Clinopyroxene microlites of melt pockets provide P-T data close to the anhydrous peridotite solidus and confirm that they originated from heating and decompression during transport in the host magma. All these geothermometric data constrain the mantle potential temperature to values of 1250-1350C, consistent with the occurrence of mantle decompressional melting in a transtensive tectonic regime for the Ross Sea region.
URL: http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=journal&issn=0010-7999
Subject metasomatism
lithospheric mantle
mantle geotherm
Ross Sea Rift

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