Fractionation of the platinum-group elments and Re during crystallization of basalt in Kilauea Iki Lava Lake, Hawaii

Chemical Geology
By: , and 



Kilauea Iki lava lake formed during the 1959 summit eruption of Kilauea Volcano, then crystallized and differentiated over a period of 35??years. It offers an opportunity to evaluate the fractionation behavior of trace elements in a uniquely well-documented basaltic system. A suite of 14 core samples recovered from 1967 to 1981 has been analyzed for 5 platinum-group elements (PGE: Ir, Os, Ru, Pt, Pd), plus Re. These samples have MgO ranging from 2.4 to 26.9??wt.%, with temperatures prior to quench ranging from 1140????C to ambient (110????C). Five eruption samples were also analyzed. Osmium and Ru concentrations vary by nearly four orders of magnitude (0.0006-1.40??ppb for Os and 0.0006-2.01??ppb for Ru) and are positively correlated with MgO content. These elements behaved compatibly during crystallization, mostly likely being concentrated in trace phases (alloy or sulfide) present in olivine phenocrysts or included chromite. Iridium also correlates positively with MgO, although less strongly than Os and Ru. The somewhat poorer correlation for Ir, compared with Os and Ru, may reflect variable loss of Ir as volatile IrF6 in some of the most magnesian samples. Rhenium is negatively correlated with MgO, behaving as an incompatible trace element. Its behavior in the lava lake is complicated by apparent volatile loss of Re, as suggested by a decrease in Re concentration with time of quenching for lake samples vs. eruption samples. Platinum and Pd concentrations are negatively, albeit weakly, correlated with MgO, so these elements were modestly incompatible during crystallization of the major silicate phases. Palladium contents peaked before precipitation of immiscible sulfide liquid, however, and decline sharply in the most differentiated samples. In contrast, Pt appears to have been unaffected by sulfide precipitation. Microprobe data confirm that Pd entered the sulfide liquid before Re, and that Pt is not strongly chalcophile in this system. Occasional high Pt values in both eruption and lava lake samples suggest the presence of unevenly distributed, unidentified Pt-rich trace phases in some Kilauea Iki materials. Estimated mineral (olivine + chromite)/melt D values for Os, Ir, Ru and Pt for equilibrium crystallization for samples from ~ 7 to 27??wt.% MgO are 26, 8.2, 19 and 0.55, respectively. These Os, Ir and Ru estimates are somewhat higher than previous estimates for similar systems. If fractional crystallization is instead assumed, D values are much more similar. Results confirm many prior observations in other mafic systems that olivine (together with included phases) has a major effect on absolute and relative abundances of Re and the PGE. The relatively linear correlations between these elements and MgO potentially permit accurate estimation of the concentrations of these elements in the primary melts of comparable systems, especially in instances where the MgO content of the primary melt is well constrained. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Fractionation of the platinum-group elments and Re during crystallization of basalt in Kilauea Iki Lava Lake, Hawaii
Series title Chemical Geology
DOI 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2008.12.022
Volume 260
Issue 3-4
Year Published 2009
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Chemical Geology
First page 196
Last page 210