Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 164, Issue 1, pp 27–44

Experiments on liquid immiscibility along tholeiitic liquid lines of descent

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00410-012-0723-y

Cite this article as:
Charlier, B. & Grove, T.L. Contrib Mineral Petrol (2012) 164: 27. doi:10.1007/s00410-012-0723-y

Abstract

Crystallization experiments have been conducted on compositions along tholeiitic liquid lines of descent to define the compositional space for the development of silicate liquid immiscibility. Starting materials have 46–56 wt% SiO2, 11.7–17.7 wt% FeOtot, and Mg-number between 0.29 and 0.36. These melts fall on the basaltic trends relevant for Mull, Iceland, Snake River Plain lavas and for the Sept Iles layered intrusion, where large-scale liquid immiscibility has been recognized. At one atmosphere under anhydrous conditions, immiscibility develops below 1,000–1,020°C in all of these compositionally diverse lavas. Extreme iron enrichment is not necessary; immiscibility also develops during iron depletion and silica enrichment. Variations in melt composition control the development of silicate liquid immiscibility along the tholeiitic trend. Elevation of Na2O + K2O + P2O5 + TiO2 promotes the development of two immiscible liquids. Increasing melt CaO and Al2O3 stabilizes a single-liquid field. New data and published phase equilibria show that anhydrous, low-pressure fractional crystallization is the most favorable condition for unmixing during differentiation. Pressure inhibits immiscibility because it expands the stability field of high-Ca clinopyroxene, which reduces the proportion of plagioclase in the crystallizing assemblage, thus enhancing early iron depletion. Magma mixing between primitive basalt and Fe–Ti–P-rich ferrobasalts can serve to elevate phosphorous and alkali contents and thereby promote unmixing. Water might decrease the temperature and size of the two-liquid field, potentially shifting the binodal (solvus) below the liquidus, leading the system to evolve as a single-melt phase.

Keywords

Experimental petrology Layered intrusions Binodal Solvus Basalt Ferrobasalt 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary SciencesMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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