Geochemistry of spinel-hosted amphibole inclusions in abyssal peridotite: insight into secondary melt formation in melt–peridotite reaction

  • Akihiro Tamura
  • Tomoaki Morishita
  • Satoko Ishimaru
  • Shoji Arai
Original Paper


Spinel-hosted hydrous silicate mineral inclusions are often observed in dunite and troctolite as well as chromitite. Their origin has been expected as products associated with melt–peridotite reaction, based on the host rock origin. However, the systematics in mineralogical and geochemical features are not yet investigated totally. In this study, we report geochemical variations of the spinel-hosted pargasite inclusions in reacted harzburgite and olivine-rich troctolite collected from Atlantis Massif, an oceanic core complex, in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The studied samples are a good example to examine geochemical variations in the inclusions because the origin and geological background of the host rocks have been well constrained, such as the reaction between MORB melt and depleted residual harzburgite beneath the mid-ocean ridge spreading center. The trace-element compositions of the pargasite inclusions are characterized by not only high abundance of incompatible elements but also the LREE and HFSE enrichments. Distinctive trace-element partitioning between the pargasite inclusion and the host-rock clinopyroxene supports that the secondary melt instantaneously formed by the reaction is trapped in spinel and produces inclusion minerals. While the pargasite geochemical features can be interpreted by modal change reaction of residual harzburgite, such as combination of orthopyroxene decomposition and olivine precipitation, degree of the LREE enrichment as well as variation of HREE abundance is controlled by melt/rock ratio in the reaction. The spinel-hosted hydrous inclusion could be embedded evidence indicating melt–peridotite reaction even if reaction signatures in the host rock were hidden by other consequent reactions.


Spinel Mineral inclusion Trace-element Harzburgite Olivine-rich troctolite Oceanic core complex 



This study used samples and data of IODP Exp.304/305. We are grateful to the scientists, technicians, officers and crews aboard the JOIDES Resolution and in TAMU for their works. Kaori Hara is thanked for assistance with the electron microprobe work. The manuscript was greatly benefited from constructive comments by Riccard Tribuzio and Etienne Médard, and editorial comments by Timothy Grove. This study was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science to AT (18740336) and to SA (20244085).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akihiro Tamura
    • 1
  • Tomoaki Morishita
    • 1
  • Satoko Ishimaru
    • 2
  • Shoji Arai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesKanazawa UniversityKanazawaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesKumamoto UniversityKumamotoJapan

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