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Major element records of variable plume involvement in the North Atlantic Province tertiary flood basalts

Scarrow, J. H., Curran, J. M. and Kerr, Andrew Craig 2000. Major element records of variable plume involvement in the North Atlantic Province tertiary flood basalts. Journal of Petrology 41 (7) , pp. 1155-1176. 10.1093/petrology/41.7.1155

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Abstract

Major element variations in North Atlantic Tertiary Province primitive, early erupted, alkaline-transitional-tholeiite basalts, recalculated to a restricted value of MgO, give insights into the process of plume-related magmatism. Basalts primitive enough to be crystallizing only olivine were recalculated to a proposed primary magma composition of 15 wt % MgO. The recalculated dataset shows clear inter-element correlations including a strong, significant, negative correlation between Fe and Si indicating polybaric melt segregation. Overlap between basalt compositions and experimental melts from a fertile, Fe-rich, low mg-number (85.5) peridotite suggests that, relative to normal peridotite with mg-number > 89, the North Atlantic basalt source was Fe rich. Linear regression of the experimental data gives apparent pressures of magma segregation of 17·5–37 kbar, with intra-region variability in the depth derivation from the melt column for each sample, thus suggesting that lithospheric thickness ‘lid-effect’ control on magma generation may have been overemphasized in recent studies. Comparable source composition, magma segregation depth and calculated mantle potential temperature (1440–1460°C) throughout the Province supports the previously suggested plume impact model, arriving below East Greenland, derived from a variably enriched and depleted lower-mantle source. Given the good agreement between conclusions drawn from major element data and previously published results we suggest that restricted-MgO recalculated datasets may be usefully applied to study other large igneous provinces.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Uncontrolled Keywords: basalt; Fe-rich mantle; large igneous provinces; North Atlantic Tertiary Province; restricted-MgO major element datasets
Publisher: OUP
ISSN: 1460-2415
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 02:08
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/9589

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