Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 105, Issue 1, pp 42–54 | Cite as

Ti-rich komatiites from northern Norway

  • Sarah-Jane Barnes
  • Morten Often


Komatiites of the Karasjok Greenstone Belt, northern Norway, show two unusual features: they have certain compositional differences compared with other komatiites, and they are largely volcaniclastic in origin. Their geological setting suggests that the komatiites were crupted into shallow water, thus permitting phreatomagmatic eruption, in a small ocean basin that opened in the Baltic Shield. The major oxides (except for TiO2), the trace elements Y, Sc, V, heavy rare earth elements (HREE), Cr, Co, Ni and the platinum group elements (PGE) cover similar ranges to those observed in other komatiites, but TiO2, Sm, Zr and Hf (Ti-associated elements, TAE) are enriched compared with abundances commonly reported for komatiites. Thus, the Karasjok komatiites have interelement ratios 2 to 3 times greater than chondritic between the TAE and the HREE, PGE, Sc, V, Y, Al (HRE-associated elements, HAE). The light rare earth elements (LREE), Ta and Th are enriched in some samples relative to Ti, Sm, Zr, and Hf, but are depleted in others. One group of rocks that is similar to the Karasjok komatiites both in terms of geological setting and geochemistry is the Baffin Bay picrites. The reason for the high concentrations of TAE in the Karasjok komatiites could be that they formed at lower degrees of partial melting than most komatiites. The greater-than-chondritic TAE/HAE ratios indicate that garnet was a residual phase during their formation, requiring that the melt formed at a pressure greater than 40 kb. A model involving decompression melting of a mantle plume rising in a rifting environment, can explain the main features of the Karasjok komatiites.


TiO2 Partial Melting Geological Setting Ocean Basin Mantle Plume 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah-Jane Barnes
    • 1
  • Morten Often
    • 2
  1. 1.Sciences de la TerreUniversité du QuébécChicoutimiCanada
  2. 2.Norges geologiske UndersøkelseTrondheimNorway

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