Abstract

The lamproite of Gaussberg is an ultrapotassic rock where leucite, olivine and clinopyroxene microphenocrysts occur in a glass-rich groundmass, containing microliths of leucite, clinopyroxene, apatite, phlogopite and rare K-richterite.

Abundant silicate melt inclusions occur in olivine, leucite and, rarely, in clinopyroxene microphenocrysts. Raman investigations on melt inclusions showed the presence of pure CO2 in the shrinkage bubbles. On the other hand, the glass of the groundmass is CO2-poor and contains up to 0.70 wt.% of dissolved H2O, as estimated by infrared spectra. It is inferred that CO2 was released at every stage of evolution of the lamproite magma (CO2-rich shrinkage bubbles), whereas H2O was retained for longer in the liquid. At Gaussberg, CO2 seems to have a major role at relatively high pressure where it favoured the crystallization of H2O-poor microphenocrysts; the uprise of the magma to the surface decreased the solubility of CO2 and caused a relative increase in water activity. As a consequence, phlogopite and K-richterite appeared in the groundmass.

The glass composition of both the groundmass and melt inclusions suggests different evolutions for the residual liquids of the investigated samples. Sample G886 shows the typical evolution of a lamproite magma, where the residual liquid evolves toward peralkaline and Na-rich composition and crystallizes K-richterite in the latest stage. Sample G895 derives from mixing/mingling of different batches of magma; effectively glasses from melt inclusions in leucite and clinopyroxene are more alkaline than those found in early crystallized olivine. Leucite and clinopyroxene crystallized early from a relatively more alkaline batch of lamproite magma and, successively, a less alkaline, olivine-bearing magma batch assimilated them during its rise to the surface.

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