Experimentally dictated stability of carbonated oceanic crust to moderately great depths in the Earth: Results from the solidus determination in the system CaO-MgO-Al2O3-SiO2-CO2

Shantanu Keshav*, Gudmundur H. Gudfinnsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Solidus melting phase relations are reported for carbonated eclogite in the system CaO-MgO-Al2O3-SiO2-CO2 at 12 to 25 GPa. From 12 to 16 GPa, melts are in equilibrium with clinopyroxene, stishovite, garnet, aragonite, and magnesite. At 20 and 25 GPa, melts are in equilibrium with garnet, stishovite, calcium-alumino silicate, calcium perovskite, and magnesite. Melting reactions demonstrate that from 12 to 16 GPa, stishovite is in reaction with the melt. At 20 and 25 GPa, garnet and stishovite together are produced upon melting of model, carbonated eclogite. At 20 and 25 GPa, calcium perovskite is also the phase that contributes the most toward liquid production. Melt compositions at all pressures are carbonatitic, with roughly 37-40 wt% dissolved CO2. From 12 to 16 GPa, the liquids are calciocarbonatites with Ca#molar of ̃69-71; liquid compositions become less calcic with Ca# of ̃52-55 at 20 and 25 GPa. Given these melting phase relations, suitable subduction zone adiabats do not intersect the solidus of model carbonated eclogite at depths investigated in the present study. Hence, on this basis, it is fair to say that carbonated eclogite possibly avoids melting in subduction zone settings, thereby delivering carbonate to at least moderate depths in the Earth. However, owing to local heating events, small-degree melting of carbonated eclogite is not completely precluded, and the liquids liberated from this melting can be viewed as agents of chemical mass transfer in the deep Earth. At present, however, geochemical consequences of subduction-related melting of carbonated eclogite are difficult to evaluate.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberB05205
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume115
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

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