Abstract

Foid-bearing syenites and endoskarn xenoliths of the A.D. 472 Vesuvius eruption represent the magma chamber–carbonate wall-rock interface. Melt inclusions hosted in crystals from these rocks offer a rare opportunity to depict the formation and the composition of metasomatic skarn-forming fluids at the peripheral part of a growing K-alkaline magma chamber disrupted by an explosive eruption. Four principal types of melt inclusions represent highly differentiated phonolite (type 1), hydrosaline melt (type 3), unmixed silicate– salt melts (type 2), and a complex chloride-carbonate melt with minor sulfates (type 4). The high-temperature (700–800 °C) magmatic-derived hydrosaline melt is considered to be the main metasomatic agent for the skarn-forming reactions. The interaction between this melt (fluid) and carbonate wall rocks produces a Na-K-Ca carbonate-chloride melt that shows immiscibility between carbonate and chloride constituents at ∼700 °C in 1 atm experiments. This unmixing can be viewed as a possible mechanism for the origin of carbonatites associated with intrusion-related skarn systems.

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