Abstract

The pyroxenite-peridotite sequence from the External Ligurian (northern Apennines, Italy) ophiolites is evidence of the evolution of recycled crust within the mantle. We present new major and trace element and Nd-Hf isotopic compositions of garnet clinopyroxenites and websterites from this mantle section. The garnet clinopyroxenites display clinopyroxene and bulk-rock rare earth element patterns with distinct positive Eu anomalies, which argue for the involvement of plagioclase-rich precursors in their origin. We propose that the garnet clinopyroxenites formed by crystallization of eclogite-derived melts that underwent negligible interaction with the host peridotites. The garnet websterites are interpreted to have been produced by reactions between the eclogite-derived melts and peridotites, thereby giving rise to hybrid, second-stage pyroxenites with a crustal geochemical fingerprint. In our petrogenetic scenario, a rifting-related event at ca. 220 Ma caused melting of eclogites originating from a mid-oceanic ridge basalt–type gabbroic sequence. These mafic protoliths underwent a long-lived evolution of recycling in the mantle (1.5–1.0 Ga). We show that heterogeneity of crustal protoliths, age of recycling, and interaction with the host peridotites may lead to a significant compositional and isotopic diversity of crust-derived mantle pyroxenites.

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