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  • 2005-2009  (3)
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  • 1
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Oxford, UK : Blackwell Science Ltd
    Terra nova 17 (2005), S. 0 
    ISSN: 1365-3121
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Geosciences
    Notes: We studied more than 60 oceanic gabbros from the recent oceanic crust and from ophiolites (East Pacific Rise, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Southwest Indian Ridge, Oman ophiolite) by scanning electron microscopy and found in nearly all samples microstructures suggesting that hydrous partial melting reactions proceeded. The characteristic paragenesis consists of orthopyroxene and pargasite rimming olivine and clinopyroxene primocrysts in intimate contact with neoblastic plagioclase strongly enriched in anorthite. This is in agreement with recent water-saturated melting experiments on a variety of natural gabbros between 900 and 1000 °C. The observed microtextures in the natural gabbros imply the propagation of water-rich fluids on grain boundaries in a ductile regime causing hydrous partial melting. Thus, this type of hydrothermal activity proceeds within the deep oceanic crust at very high temperatures (900–1000 °C) without a crack system, a prerequisite in current models for enabling hydrothermal circulation.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2006-11-01
    Description: To investigate the effect of water on phase relations and compositions in a basaltic system, we performed crystallization experiments at pressures of 100, 200 and 500 MPa in a temperature range of 940 to 1,220°C using four different water contents. Depending on the water activity, the oxygen fugacity varied between 1 and 4 log units above the quartz-magnetite-fayalite buffer. Addition of water to the dry system shifts the solidus  〉 250°C to lower temperatures and increases the amount of melt drastically. For instance, at 1,100°C and 200 MPa, the melt fraction increases from 12.5 wt% at a water content of 1.6 wt% to 96.3% at a water content of 5 wt% in the melt. The compositions of the experimental phases also show a strong effect of water. Plagioclase is shifted to higher anorthite contents by the addition of water. Olivine and clinopyroxene show generally higher MgO/FeO ratios with added water, which could also be related to the increasing oxygen fugacity with water. Moreover, water affects the partitioning of certain elements between minerals and melts, e.g., the Ca partitioning between olivine and melt. Plagioclase shows a characteristic change in the order of crystallization with water that may help to explain the formation of wehrlites intruding the lower oceanic crust (e.g., in Oman, Macquarie Island). At 100 MPa, plagioclase crystallizes before clinopyroxene at all water contents. At pressures 〉 100 MPa, plagioclase crystallizes before clinopyroxene at low water contents (e.g. 〈 3 wt%), but after clinopyroxene at H_2O in the melt 〉 3 wt%. This change in crystallization order indicates that a paragenesis typical for wehrlites (olivine–clinopyroxene–without plagioclase) is stabilized at low pressures typical of the oceanic crust only at high water contents. This opens the possibility that typical wehrlites in the oceanic crust can be formed by the fractionation and accumulation of olivine and clinopyroxene at 1,060°C and 〉 100 MPa in a primitive tholeiitic basaltic system containing more than 3 wt% water. The comparison of the experimental results with evolution trends calculated by the thermodynamic models “MELTS” and “Comagmat” shows that neither model predicts the experimental phase relations with sufficient accuracy. ©2006 Springer-Verlag
    Print ISSN: 0010-7999
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0967
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2007-01-01
    Description: Small amounts of felsic, evolved plutonic rocks, often called oceanic plagiogranites, always occur as veins or small stocks within the gabbroic section of the oceanic crust. Four major models are under debate to explain the formation of these rocks: (1) late-stage differentiation of a parental MORB melt, (2) partial melting of gabbroic rocks, (3) immiscibility in an evolved tholeiitic liquid, and (4) assimilation and partial melting of previously altered dikes. Recent experimental data in hydrous MORB-type systems are used to evaluate the petrogenesis of oceanic plagiogranites within the deep oceanic crust. Experiments show that TiO_2 is a key parameter for the discrimination between different processes: TiO_2 is relatively low in melts generated by anatexis of gabbros which is a consequence of the low TiO_2 contents of the protolith, due to the depleted nature of typical cumulate gabbros formed in the oceanic crust. On the other hand, TiO_2 is relatively high in those melts generated by MORB differentiation or liquid immiscibility. Since the TiO_2 content of many oceanic plagiogranites is far below that expected in case of a generation by simple MORB differentiation or immiscibility, these rocks may be regarded as products of anatexis. This may indicate that partial melting processes triggered by water-rich fluids are more common in the deep oceanic crust than believed up to now. At slow-spreading ridges, seawater may be transported via high-temperature shear zones deeply into the crust and thus made available for melting processes. ©2006 Springer-Verlag
    Print ISSN: 0010-7999
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0967
    Topics: Geosciences
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