Abstract

Garnet pyroxenite xenoliths from the Delegate nephelinitic breccia pipes, New South Wales, Australia, contain relict garnets (py40 alm39 gr21) which are replaced by dark kelyphitic rims resulting from garnet breakdown. The kelyphite is composed of a lamellar intergrowth of secondary minerals, in which the lamellae are <1 μm in width. Analyses by SEM and ICPMS reveal that the kelyphite has an identical bulk chemical composition to the primary garnet. Kelyphitic rims on garnet are well known from xenoliths and xenocrysts in kimberlite pipes and from tectonically-uplifted mafic and ultramafic rocks in some metamorphic terranes. Orthopyroxene occurs in metamorphic kelyphites and it has been assumed that orthopyroxene is also the breakdown product of garnet transported in basic-ultrabasic magmas. However, TEM study of Delegate kelyphite shows that the ultrafine lamellae do not contain orthopyroxene but are instead composed of magnesian clinoferrosilite (En45Fs55), and lesser ferroan spinel and anorthite. The clinoferrosilite is probably the inversion product of initially-formed magnesian protoferrosilite. The breakdown reaction is believed to result from a sudden change to lower temperature and pressure conditions when the xenoliths were transported in the Delegate magma from ~40 km depth to the surface.

You do not currently have access to this article.