Eclogites and pyroxenites in the SCLM
Published:January 01, 2010
This paper describes a rare occurrence of graphite in non-cratonic mantle rocks. Graphite has been found in garnet clinopyroxenite layers from the External Liguride peridotites that represent slices of subcontinental lithospheric mantle exhumed at the ocean floor in Mesozoic times. The high-pressure assemblage of the pyroxenites is characterized by garnet+Al–Na-rich clinopyroxene, and testifies to an early stage of equilibration at approximately 2.8 GPa and 1100 °C. Graphite occurs as small dispersed euhedral flakes and stacks of flakes. Structural characterization by microRaman spectrometry indicates a highly ordered structure, compatible with a high-temperature mantle origin. C isotope composition of graphite has a typical mantle signature. Fe–Ni–Cu sulphides occur as accessory phases, both as blebs enclosed in silicates (E-Type) and interstitial grains (I-Type). The sulphide assemblage (Ni-free pyrrhotite, pentlandite, Cu–Fe sulphides) mainly reflects subsolidus exsolution from high-temperature Fe–Ni–Cu monosulphide solid solutions with variable Ni (up to 18 wt%) and Cu content (up to 7 wt%). The origin of E- and I-Type sulphides requires the existence of an immiscible Fe–Ni–Cu sulphide liquid, which segregated from the partial melt of the garnet pyroxenite. Graphite precipitation in the pyroxenite was presumably related to the reduction of a more oxidized carbon species interacting with the sulphide liquid as a reducing agent.
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Petrological Evolution of the European Lithospheric Mantle
Several different databases and models have been developed over many years of petrological study carried out by several European and non-European groups on mantle xenoliths, peridotite massifs, ophiolites and mafic magmas spanning in age from Archaean to Recent times. This volume aims to bring together these different approaches and to integrate the geochemical perceptions of the European upper mantle. The papers include regional petrological studies of the European lithospheric mantle, from Spain to the Pannonian Basin, from Corsica and Serbia as far north as Svalbard. Six contributions are based on studies of mantle xenoliths, while the remaining three deal with ophiolitic and peridotitic complexes. A further article provides an update on the textural classification of mantle rocks using a computer-aided approach and there is an introductory overview.