Abstract

Rhönite occurs in lower crustal pyroxenite xenoliths erupted in phonolite from the Mount Sidley composite volcano, Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica, as a localized breakdown product, with plagioclase, clinopyroxene, ± olivine ± Ti-magnetite + melt, of kaersutite, and as microphenocrysts (with olivine, plagioclase, clinopyroxene) in pockets of basanitic melt. Rhönite after kaersutite has a more NaSi-rich/CaAl-poor composition, lower Ti, and formed at higher oxidation (~NNO) conditions than rhönite occurring as microphenocrysts in basanite. Comparison with experimentally determined rhönite stability in understaturated alkali basalt and as a reaction product after Ti-amphibole indicates that the Mount Sidley rhönite (and associated minerals) formed between 1090 and 1190°C at <0.5 kbar, presumably during temporary residence of the xenoliths in a shallow magma chamber below the volcanic edifice.

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