Geobarometry of ultramafic xenoliths from Loihi Seamount, Hawaii, on the basis of CO2 inclusions in olivine

Earth and Planetary Science Letters


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Abundant fluid inclusions in olivine of dunite xenoliths (???1-3 cm) in basalt dredged from the young Loihi Seamount, 30 km southeast of Hawaii, are evidence for three coexisting immiscible fluid phases-silicate melt (now glass), sulfide melt (now solid), and dense supercritical CO2 (now liquid + gas)-during growth and later fracturing of some of these olivine crystals. Some olivine xenocrysts, probably from disaggregation of xenoliths, contain similar inclusions. Most of the inclusions (2-10 ??m) are on secondary planes, trapped during healing of fractures after the original crystal growth. Some such planes end abruptly within single crystals and are termed pseudosecondary, because they formed during the growth of the host olivine crystals. The "vapor" bubble in a few large (20-60 ??m), isolated, and hence primary, silicate melt inclusions is too large to be the result of simple differential shrinkage. Under correct viewing conditions, these bubbles are seen to consist of CO2 liquid and gas, with an aggregate ??{variant} = ??? 0.5-0.75 g cm-3, and represent trapped globules of dense supercritical CO2 (i.e., incipient "vesiculation" at depth). Some spinel crystals enclosed within olivine have attached CO2 blebs. Spherical sulfide blebs having widely variable volume ratios to CO2 and silicate glass are found in both primary and pseudosecondary inclusions, demonstrating that an immiscible sulfide melt was also present. Assuming olivine growth at ??? 1200??C and hydrostatic pressure from a liquid lava column, extrapolation of CO2 P-V-T data indicates that the primary inclusions were trapped at ??? 220-470 MPa (2200-4700 bars), or ??? 8-17 km depth in basalt magma of ??{variant} = 2.7 g cm-3. Because the temperature cannot change much during the rise to eruption, the range of CO2 densities reveals the change in pressure from that during original olivine growth to later deformation and rise to eruption on the sea floor. The presence of numerous decrepitated inclusions indicates that the inclusion sample studied is biased by the loss of higher-density inclusions and suggests that some part of these olivine xenoliths formed at greater depths. ?? 1983.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Geobarometry of ultramafic xenoliths from Loihi Seamount, Hawaii, on the basis of CO2 inclusions in olivine
Series title Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume 66
Issue C
Year Published 1983
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Earth and Planetary Science Letters
First page 369
Last page 379
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