Systematic LREE enrichment of mantle harzburgites: The petrogenesis of San Carlos xenoliths revisited
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Flux meltingOpen-system melting modelReactive channeling instabilityPressure-solution creepTectonic reactivationJemez Lineament
Romain Tilhac... [et al.]. Systematic LREE enrichment of mantle harzburgites: The petrogenesis of San Carlos xenoliths revisited, Lithos, Volumes 396–397, 2021, 106195, ISSN 0024-4937, [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lithos.2021.106195]
SponsorshipMinistry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (MEXT) Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
The dichotomy between partial melting and metasomatism is a paradigm of mantle geochemistry since the pioneering work of Frey and Prinz (1978) on the occurrence of LREE-enriched harzburgites. However, the thermo-chemical implications of such two-stage scenarios are often poorly considered, and the latter fail to explain why trace-element enrichment and major-element depletion are often proportional.We here re-envisage the petrogenesis of the famous San Carlos peridotites based on new petrographic observations and detailed modal, major- and trace-element compositions. The lherzolites (and pyroxenites) are characterized by homogeneously fertile mineral chemistry and LREE-depleted patterns consistent with low degrees of partial melting of the lherzolitic protolith. Bulk compositions and mineral zoning suggest that opx-rich pyroxenites formed by pressure-solution creep during melt-present deformation, locally accompanied by magmatic segregations of cpx. The harzburgites are characterized by stronger mineral zoning with low-Mg# and Na-, Al- and Cr-rich cpx rims, and can be discriminated in a low-Jd and high-Jd cpx groups. The high-Jd group is interpreted as the result of local elemental redistribution in the presence of a low-degree hydrous melt, in good agreement with their wide range of LREE enrichment. In contrast, the MREE-to-HREE fractionation and increasing Cr# in spinel of the low-Jd group indicate that they experienced higher degrees of melting. Open-system melting simulations of trace-element fractionation during hydrous flux melting suggests that the high-Jd harzburgites are the result of low fluid influx producing poorly extracted melt, while higher influx led to higher melting degrees and efficient melt extraction in the low-Jd harzburgites; the lherzolites mostly remained below or near solidus during that process. The lithological and chemical heterogeneity of San Carlos mantle is thus compatible with a single-stage evolution, which is also supported by the striking consistency between Fe-Mg exchange and REE thermometric estimates (1057 and 1074 °C on average, respectively), indicating that harzburgites and lherzolites probably followed a similar P-T path and relatively little sub-solidus re-equilibration. These interpretations suggest that the development ofmelt extraction pathways promoted by reactive channeling instability is able to produce complex lithological heterogeneities during hydrous flux melting. This process provides a self-consistent explanation for the systematic enrichment of harzburgites observed in many mantle terranes and xenoliths worldwide. We argue that San Carlos is one of such examples where a ca 1.5-Ga continental lithosphere experienced localized flux melting and deformation during the tectonic reactivation of a Proterozoic subduction zone, providing new constraints on the mantle sources of volcanic activity in the Jemez Lineament.