Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 92, Issue 3, pp 368–382 | Cite as

Anhydrous P-T phase relations of near-primary high-alumina basalt from the South Sandwich Islands

Implications for the origin of island arcs and tonalite-trondhjemite series rocks
  • A. Dana Johnston


Anhydrous P-T phase relations, including phase compositions and modes, are reported from 10–31 kbar for a near-primary high-alumina basalt from the South Sandwich Islands in the Scotia Arc. The water content of natural subduction-related basalt is probably <0.5 wt.% and thus, these results are relevant to the generation of primary basaltic magmas in subduction zones. At high pressures (>27 kbar) garnet is the liquidus phase followed by clinopyroxene, then quartz/coesite at lower temperatures. At intermediate pressures (17–27 kbar), clinopyroxene is the liquidus phase followed by either garnet, quartz, plagioclase, then orthopyroxene or plagioclase, quartz, garnet, then orthopyroxene depending on the pressure within this interval. At all lower pressures, plagioclase is the liquidus phase followed at much lower temperatures (∼100° C at 5 kbar) by clinopyroxene. The absence of olivine from the liquidus suggests that the composition studied here could not have been derived from a more mafic parent by olivine fractionation at any pressure investigated, and supports the interpretation that it is primary. If so, these results also preclude an origin for this melt by partial melting of olivine-rich mantle periddotite and suggest instead that it was generated by partial melting of the descending slab (quartz eclogite) leaving clinopyroxene, garnet, or both in the residue. The generally flat REE patterns for low-K series subduction related basalts argue against any significant role for garnet, however, and it is thus concluded that the composition studied here was extracted at 20–27 kbar after sufficiently high degrees of partial melting (∼50%) to totally consume garnet in the eclogite source. Melting experiments on three MORB composition, although not conclusive, are in agreement with this mechanism. Results at 30 kbar support an origin for tonalite/trondhjemite series rocks by lower degrees of melting (15–30%), leaving both garnet and clinopyroxene in the residue.


Olivine Subduction Partial Melting Subduction Zone Basaltic Magma 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Dana Johnston
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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