Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 164, Issue 1, pp 101–122 | Cite as

Liquid immiscibility between silicate, carbonate and sulfide melts in melt inclusions hosted in co-precipitated minerals from Kerimasi volcano (Tanzania): evolution of carbonated nephelinitic magma

Original Paper


The evolution of a carbonated nephelinitic magma can be followed by the study of a statistically significant number of melt inclusions, entrapped in co-precipitated perovskite, nepheline and magnetite in a clinopyroxene- and nepheline-rich rock (afrikandite) from Kerimasi volcano (Tanzania). Temperatures are estimated to be 1,100°C for the early stage of the melt evolution of the magma, which formed the rock. During evolution, the magma became enriched in CaO, depleted in SiO2 and Al2O3, resulting in immiscibility at ~1,050°C and crustal pressures (0.5–1 GPa) with the formation of three fluid-saturated melts: an alkali- and MgO-bearing, CaO- and FeO-rich silicate melt; an alkali- and F-bearing, CaO- and P2O5-rich carbonate melt; and a Cu–Fe sulfide melt. The sulfide and the carbonate melt could be physically separated from their silicate parent and form a Cu–Fe–S ore and a carbonatite rock. The separated carbonate melt could initially crystallize calciocarbonatite and ultimately become alkali rich in composition and similar to natrocarbonatite, demonstrating an evolution from nephelinite to natrocarbonatite through Ca-rich carbonatite magma. The distribution of major elements between perovskite-hosted coexisting immiscible silicate and carbonate melts shows strong partitioning of Ca, P and F relative to FeT, Si, Al, Mn, Ti and Mg in the carbonate melt, suggesting that immiscibility occurred at crustal pressures and plays a significant role in explaining the dominance of calciocarbonatites (sövites) relative to dolomitic or sideritic carbonatites. Our data suggest that Cu–Fe–S compositions are characteristic of immiscible sulfide melts originating from the parental silicate melts of alkaline silicate–carbonatite complexes.


Melt inclusion Liquid immiscibility Carbonate melt Sulfide melt Silicate melt Carbonatite Natrocarbonatite Nephelinite Kerimasi Tanzania 



This project was financially supported by the European Union and co-financed by the European Social Fund (grant agreement number: TAMOP 4.2.1/B-09/1/KMR-2010-0003 to Tibor Guzmics and Csaba Szabó). T. Guzmics was additionally supported by the János Bolyai Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. T. Guzmics thanks the Hungarian Science Foundation (OTKA, 78425 to Cs. Szabó). Roger Mitchell’s work on alkaline rocks is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, Almaz Petrology and Lakehead University. The authors owe thanks to Zsolt Bendő and Gábor Varga at Eötvös University and to Gerlinde Habler at University of Vienna for the help in SE and BSE imaging. The authors are also grateful to Professor Jacques Touret and an anonymous reviewer for their constructive reviews and useful suggestions. This is publication No 57 of Lithosphere Fluid Research Laboratory, Eötvös University, Budapest. This work is dedicated to Tibor Guzmics Sr.

Supplementary material

410_2012_728_MOESM1_ESM.xls (63 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLS 63 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lithosphere Fluid Research LaboratoryInstitute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Eötvös University BudapestBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Lakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada
  3. 3.Free University BerlinBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Material Science and Biological Research CenterEötvös University BudapestBudapestHungary

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