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Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse     
Piccardo G., Zanetti A., Müntener O. Melt/peridotite interaction in the Southern Lanzo peridotite: Field, Textural and geochemical evidence. In: Lithos, vol. 94 (1-4) pp. 181 - 209. Elsevier, 2007.
 
 
Abstract
(English)
This paper presents field, petrographic-structural and geochemical data on spinel and plagioclase peridotites from the southern domain of the Lanzo ophiolitic peridotite massif (Western Alps). Spinel lherzolites, harzburgites and dunites crop out at Mt. Arpone and Mt. Musinè. Field evidence indicates that pristine porphyroclastic spinel lherzolites are transformed to coarse granular spinel harzburgites, which are in turn overprinted by plagioclase peridotites, while strongly depleted spinel harzburgite and dunite bands and bodies replace the plagioclase peridotites. On the northern flank of Mt. Arpone, deformed, porphyroclastic (lithospheric) lherzolites, with diffuse pyroxenite banding, represent the oldest spinel-facies rocks. They show microstructures of a composite subsolidus evolution, suggesting provenance from deeper (asthenospheric) mantle levels and accretion to the lithosphere. These protoliths are locally transformed to coarse granular (reactive) spinel harzburgites and dunites, which show textures reminiscent of melt/rock reaction and geochemical characteristics suggesting that they are products of peridotite interaction with reactively percolating melts. Geochemical data and modelling suggest that <1-5% fractional melting of spinel-facies DMM produced the injected melts. Plagioclase peridotites are hybrid rocks resulting from pre-existing spinel peridotites and variable enrichment of plagioclase and micro-gabbroic material by percolating melts. The impregnating melts attained silica-saturation, as testified by widespread orthopyroxene replacement of olivine, during open system migration in the lithosphere. At Mt. Musinè, coarse granular spinel harzburgite and dunite bodies replace the plagioclase peridotites. Most of these replacive, refractory peridotites have interstitial magmatic clinopyroxene with trace element compositions in equilibrium with MORB, while some Cpx have REE-depleted patterns suggesting transient geochemical features of the migrating MORB-type melts, acquired by interaction with the ambient plagioclase peridotite. These replacive spinel harzburgite and dunite bodies are interpreted as channels exploited for focused and reactive migration of silica-undersaturated melts with aggregate MORB compositions. Such melts were unrelated to the silica-saturated melts that refertilized the pre-existing plagioclase peridotites. Finally, MORB melt migration occurred along open fractures, now recorded as gabbroic dikes. Our data document the complexity of rock-types and mantle processes in the South Lanzo peridotite massif and describe a composite tectonic and magmatic scenario that is not consistent with the "asthenospheric scenario" proposed by previous authors. We envisage a "transitional scenario" in which extending subcontinental lithospheric mantle was strongly modified (both depleted and refertilized) by early melts with MORB-affinity formed by decompression partial melting of the upwelling asthenosphere, during pre-oceanic rifting and lithospheric thinning in the Ligurian Tethys realm.
URL: http://https://www.journals.elsevier.com/lithos
Subject melt/peridotite interaction
mantle lithosphere
Lanzo peridotite
western Alps


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