Li as a barometer for bimineralic eclogites : experiments and application

  • An eclogite barometer has profound importance in the study of upper mantle processes and potential application to diamond prospecting. Studies on the partitioning of Li between clinopyroxene (cpx) and garnet (grt) in natural samples have shown that this particular element is very sensitive to changes in pressure and could be calibrated as the barometer demanded for bimineralic eclogites. Experiments were performed from 4 to 13 GPa and 1100 to 1400°C in the CMAS (CaO, MgO, Al2O3, SiO2) system with Li added as Li3PO4 to quantify this pressure dependence into a barometer expressed in the following equation: P= (0.00255*T-lnKd)/0.2351 where P is in GPa, T is in °C and Kd is defined as the partition coefficient of Li (in ppm) between clinopyroxene and garnet. The experimental pressures are reproduced to ± 0.38 GPa (1&#963;) by this equation. This barometer is strictly applicable only to CMAS. Experiments at 1300°C, 8-12 GPa showed that Henry’s Law is fulfilled for Li partitioning between cpx and grt in the concentration range of approximately 0.01 – 1 wt% Li. Direct application of the equation to experiments in natural systems performed at 1300°C from 4 GPa to 13 GPa consistently overestimates pressures by approximately 2 GPa. Our previous experiments in the system CaO-MgO-Al2O3-SiO2 + Li3PO4 showed that the partitioning of Li between garnet and clinopyroxene is pressure dependent in eclogitic bulk compositions. This supports experimentally the hypothesis of Seitz et al. (2003), based on the analysis of Li in eclogitic xenoliths and inclusions in diamond, that the partitioning of this particular element between clinopyroxene and garnet is very sensitive to changes in pressure and could be calibrated as a barometer for bimineralic eclogites. In order to calibrate this pressure dependence into a barometer, experiments were performed in natural systems using starting materials sourced from a well preserved eclogitic xenolith from the Roberts Victor kimberlite pipe (South Africa) to extrapolate our findings in CMAS to natural systems. Sixteen multianvil experiments were performed from 4-13 GPa and 1100-1500°C. Our findings reinforced the general trend we observed in the CMAS system, that KdLi cpx-grt for Li decreases with increasing P, and that at P &#8805; 12 GPa, garnet is able to incorporate more Li than clinopyroxene. Multiple linear regression was applied to our experimental results to create the barometer: P = (0.000963*T – ln KdLi cpx-grt + 1.581) / 0.252 Where P is pressure in GPa, T is temperature in °C and KdLi cpx-grt is defined as the partitioning coefficient of Li obtained by dividing the concentration of Li in cpx by the concentration of Li in garnet. This barometer reproduces the experimental conditions to ± 0.2 GPa. It is applicable to eclogitic xenoliths, to garnet pyroxenites and to peridotitic and eclogitic inclusions in diamond. Application of the barometer to diamond bearing xenoliths results in pressures in the diamond stability field. Clinopyroxene is easily corrupted in xenoliths and also preferentially takes in Li during short lived metasomatic processes. Care must be taken therefore to analyse primary, unaltered clinopyroxene. Our preliminary application to natural samples shows that the barometer can be applied beyond the experimental range to pressures down to 3 GPa. Seventeen eclogitic xenoliths were chosen from a sample set of greater than 200 for their fresh microscopic and macroscopic appearance and were analyzed for Li content in coexisting garnet (grt) and clinopyroxene (cpx). These samples can be subdivided into two groups on the basis of Mg in cpx (cpfu: cations per formula unit, based on 6 oxygens): Group 1 with Mg > 0.75, and Group 2 with Mg < 0.75. Group 1 xenoliths show lower Li contents in both grt and cpx compared to Group 2. The Li barom ter calibrated in Hanrahan et al. (2009b)/Chapter 3 was applied to these samples as well as available literature data to obtain pressures of provenance - Group 2 xenoliths often provide pressures that appear unrealistic for eclogitic xenoliths. In light of observed crystal chemical relations in the natural samples, a new fitting procedure was applied to the experimental data presented in Chapter 3. This new fit appears to be more realistic than the previous fit, although a strong relationship with Mg# remains present, suggesting that Li-barometry is, at present, only applicable to Mg-rich eclogites. Inclusions in diamond, with the exception of eclogitic inclusions of coexisting majorite and cpx, often yield pressures that are inconsistent with the pressures required for diamond formation. Although an interesting observation when comparing all of the data is that inclusions in diamond have significantly higher average Li concentrations compared to xenoliths, which suggests that Li is highly present in the fluids from which diamonds form in the mantle, an observation which was previously made for the deep mantle as a result of high Li in ferropericlase inclusions in diamond (Seitz et al. 2003).

Download full text files

  • Hanrahan_Thesis_2009.pdf

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Author:Margaret Hanrahan
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of Publication (online):2010/12/06
Year of first Publication:2009
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Release Date:2010/12/06
Diese Dissertation steht außerhalb der Universitätsbibliothek leider (aus urheberrechtlichen Gründen) nicht im Volltext zur Verfügung, die CD-ROM kann (auch über Fernleihe) bei der UB Frankfurt am Main ausgeliehen werden.
Institutes:Geowissenschaften / Geographie / Geowissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoArchivex. zur Lesesaalplatznutzung § 52b UrhG