Melt transport mechanisms have an important impact on the chemical composition of the percolated host rock and the migrating melts. Melt migration is usually assumed to occur at grain boundaries. However, microstructural studies revealed the occurrence of polyphase inclusions along dislocations, subgrain boundaries and microcracks in single mineral grains. The inclusions are interpreted as crystallized melt pockets suggesting that melts can migrate within deformed crystals. Intracrystalline melt migration and diffusive re-equilibration can lead to significant mineral trace element enrichments when associated with dissolution–precipitation reactions. In this contribution, we study a body of replacive troctolites associated with the Erro-Tobbio ophiolitic mantle peridotites (Ligurian Alps, Italy). The replacive formation of the olivine-rich troctolite involved extensive impregnation of a dunitic matrix, i.e. partial dissolution of olivine and concomitant crystallization of interstitial phases. The olivine matrix is characterized by two distinct olivine textures: (i) coarse deformed olivine, representing relicts of the pre-existing mantle dunite matrix (olivine1), and (ii) fine-grained undeformed olivine, a product of the melt–rock interaction process (olivine2). Previous studies documented a decoupling between olivine texture and trace element composition, namely enriched trace element compositions in olivine1 rather than in olivine2, as would be expected from the dissolution–precipitation process. Notably, the trace element enrichments in deformed olivines are correlated with the occurrence of elongated 10 µm size polyphase inclusions (clinopyroxene, Ti-pargasite, chromite) preferentially oriented along olivine crystallographic axes. These inclusions show irregular contacts and have no crystallographic preferred orientation with the host olivine, and the phases composing the inclusions show similar chemical compositions to the vermicular phases formed at the grain boundaries during late-stage reactive crystallization of the troctolite. This suggests that the investigated inclusions did not form as exsolutions of the host olivine but rather by input of metasomatic fluids percolating through the deformed olivine grains during closure of the magmatic system. We infer that strongly fractionated volatile-rich melts were incorporated in oriented microfractures within olivine1 and led to the crystallization of the polyphase inclusions. The presence of intracrystalline melt greatly enhanced diffusive re-equilibration between the evolved melt and the percolated olivine1, in turn acquiring the enriched character expected in neoformed olivine crystals. Intracrystalline melt percolation can have strong geochemical implications and can lead to efficient re-equilibration of percolated minerals and rocks.

Intracrystalline melt migration in deformed olivine revealed by trace element compositions and polyphase solid inclusions

Basch, Valentin;Crispini, Laura;Rampone, Elisabetta
2021-01-01

Abstract

Melt transport mechanisms have an important impact on the chemical composition of the percolated host rock and the migrating melts. Melt migration is usually assumed to occur at grain boundaries. However, microstructural studies revealed the occurrence of polyphase inclusions along dislocations, subgrain boundaries and microcracks in single mineral grains. The inclusions are interpreted as crystallized melt pockets suggesting that melts can migrate within deformed crystals. Intracrystalline melt migration and diffusive re-equilibration can lead to significant mineral trace element enrichments when associated with dissolution–precipitation reactions. In this contribution, we study a body of replacive troctolites associated with the Erro-Tobbio ophiolitic mantle peridotites (Ligurian Alps, Italy). The replacive formation of the olivine-rich troctolite involved extensive impregnation of a dunitic matrix, i.e. partial dissolution of olivine and concomitant crystallization of interstitial phases. The olivine matrix is characterized by two distinct olivine textures: (i) coarse deformed olivine, representing relicts of the pre-existing mantle dunite matrix (olivine1), and (ii) fine-grained undeformed olivine, a product of the melt–rock interaction process (olivine2). Previous studies documented a decoupling between olivine texture and trace element composition, namely enriched trace element compositions in olivine1 rather than in olivine2, as would be expected from the dissolution–precipitation process. Notably, the trace element enrichments in deformed olivines are correlated with the occurrence of elongated 10 µm size polyphase inclusions (clinopyroxene, Ti-pargasite, chromite) preferentially oriented along olivine crystallographic axes. These inclusions show irregular contacts and have no crystallographic preferred orientation with the host olivine, and the phases composing the inclusions show similar chemical compositions to the vermicular phases formed at the grain boundaries during late-stage reactive crystallization of the troctolite. This suggests that the investigated inclusions did not form as exsolutions of the host olivine but rather by input of metasomatic fluids percolating through the deformed olivine grains during closure of the magmatic system. We infer that strongly fractionated volatile-rich melts were incorporated in oriented microfractures within olivine1 and led to the crystallization of the polyphase inclusions. The presence of intracrystalline melt greatly enhanced diffusive re-equilibration between the evolved melt and the percolated olivine1, in turn acquiring the enriched character expected in neoformed olivine crystals. Intracrystalline melt percolation can have strong geochemical implications and can lead to efficient re-equilibration of percolated minerals and rocks.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1053466
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