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Basaltic lavas of Nyos volcano (Cameroon) mostly contain mantle peridotite xenoliths consisting of spinel-bearing lherzolites and harzburgites. Based on the trace-element patterns, especially rare earth element (REE) patterns, two groups of samples have been distinguished: group 1 samples are characterized by spoon-shaped REE patterns, and group 2 samples show light (L) REE–enriched patterns. Mineralogical characteristics together with major- and trace-element compositions point to a low degree of partial melting (less than 5%) and metasomatic processes. The latter mechanism explains in particular the LREE content of bulk rocks and clinopyroxenes and the occurrence of hydrous minerals in some samples. All the metasomatic features observed in both groups of samples are related to more or less alkaline—and carbonated—mafic silicate melts. These melts are related to the magmatic activity of the Cameroon volcanic line, leading in particular to the eruption of the host lava xenoliths.

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