Silicate liquid-carbonatite liquid transition along the melting curve of model, vapor-saturated peridotite in the system CaO-MgO-Al2O3-SiO2-CO2 from 1.1 to 2 GPa


Corresponding author: S. Keshav, Geosciences Montpellier, CNRS UMR 5243, University of Montpellier 2, Montpellier, France. (


[1] Solidus phase relations of carbon dioxide-saturated (CO2 vapor) model peridotite in the system CaO-MgO-Al2O3-SiO2-CO2 in the 1.1–2.1 GPa pressure range are reported. The solidus has a positive slope in pressure-temperature (PT) space from 1.1 to 2 GPa. Between 2 and 2.1 GPa, the melting curve changes to a negative slope. From 1.1 to 1.9 GPa, the liquid, best described as CO2-bearing silicate liquid, is in equilibrium with forsterite, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, spinel, and vapor. At 2 GPa, the same crystalline phase assemblage plus vapor is in equilibrium with two liquids, which are silicate and carbonatitic in composition, making the solidus at 2 GPa PT invariant. The presence of two liquids is interpreted as being due to liquid immiscibility. Melting reactions written over 1.1–1.9 GPa are peritectic, with forsterite being produced upon melting, and the liquid is silicate in composition. Upon melting at 2.1 GPa, orthopyroxene is produced, and the liquid is carbonatitic in composition. Hence, the invariance between 1.9 and 2.1 GPa is not only the reason for the dramatic change in the liquid composition over an interval of 0.2 GPa, but the carbonated peridotite solidus ledge itself most likely appears because of this PT invariance. It is suggested that because carbonatitic liquid is produced at the highest solidus temperature at 2 GPa in PT space in the system studied, such liquids, in principle, can erupt through liquid immiscibility, as near-primary magmas from depths of approximately 60 km.