Abstract

Sulfide droplets from fresh Mid-Ocean-Ridge Basalt (MORB) glasses show different textures. Some are fine-grained droplets consist of Monosulfide Solid Solution (Mss) and Intermediate Solid Solution (Iss) micrometric intergrowths with pentlandite at the Mss-Iss interface and disseminated Fe-oxide grains; other droplets display a characteristic “zoned” texture consisting of segregated massive grains of Mss and Iss, with euhedral Fe-oxides and pentlandite occuring as equant grains and as flame-shaped domains in the Mss formed by exsolutions. The difference in the textures implies a difference in the crystallization history of the sulfide droplets. These different textures are observed in droplets that are only millimeters apart in the same sample, and thus had an identical cooling history. Therefore, some other factors controlled the textural development. There is relationship between the size and the texture of the droplets. The larger sulfide droplets tend to have zoned textures and the smaller ones fine-grained textures. We propose that the latter have experienced greater undercooling before crystallization. The reason for the delay in crystallization could be that, in the small sulfide droplets, large stable grains with low surface to volume ratio cannot form, which results in higher effective solubility of the Mss. Due to the high degree of undercooling in the small droplets, there were numerous nucleation sites and the diffusion rates of the crystal components in the liquid were lower, leading to fine-grained Mss-Iss intergrowths. In contrast, larger droplets with lower effective solubility of Mss began to crystallize at higher temperature, and thus had fewer nucleation sites, higher diffusion rates, and more time for sulfide differentiation.

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