Abstract

Chromite occurs together with olivine as phenocrysts in basalts of the Kanakasu greenstone body. Chromite forms inclusions within olivine phenocrysts; it also constitutes discrete phenocrystic grains scattered in the groundmass. The Cr and Ni contents of chromite-bearing olivine basalts are unusually high relative to the MgO content. This is probably due to the presence of phenocrystic chromite and olivine. The mineralogy suggests that the groundmass of the basalts is hawaiitic in composition. Chromite, generally, is unlikely to crystallize from differentiated magma such as hawaiite melt. The chromite and associated olivine phenocrysts are probably xenocrysts. Discrete chromite commonly shows compositional zoning that resulted from reaction with host magma; some chromite evidently changed in composition. Chromite embedded in olivine was shielded from reaction with host magma, and has preserved the original chemical composition. The composition of embedded chromite ranges: Mg/(Mg+Fe2+) 0.37–0.58, Cr/(Cr+Al) 0.47–0.64, Fe3+ 0.16–0.47 p.f.u., and Ti 0.034–0.13 p.f.u. The relatively high Ti and Al contents suggest that chromite crystallized from an alkalic basalt magma. The Cr/(Cr+Al) ratio is relatively high when compared to those of chromite in mid-oceanic ridge and island-arc alkalic basalts; the Kanakasu embedded chromite is chemically identical to chromite from Hawaiian alkalic basalts. The Kanakasu chromite was probably formed in an intraplate oceanic island.

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