Partial melt compositions of carbonated peridotite at 3 GPa and role of CO2 in alkali-basalt magma generation



Partial melt compositions of natural carbonated peridotite (KLB-1 + 2.5 wt% CO2) have been determined at 3 GPa using the diamond aggregate method. Melt obtained at 1350 °C is carbonatitic, and with increasing temperature melt composition becomes silicate-rich. These melts are lower in SiO2 and Al2O3 and higher in MgO and CaO compared to dry partial melts of KLB-1 generated at the same pressure. The 1400 and 1450 °C liquids have melilititic compositions, which are in good agreement with those of natural alkali-basalts from continental regions. At higher temperatures, partial melts are richer in SiO2, and the compositions of liquids at 1475 and 1525 °C approximate nephelinite and basanite respectively. However, they deviate from natural alkaline rocks in that the CaO/(CaO+MgO) ratios are smaller, suggesting that the natural nephelinite and basanite magmas were formed at lower pressures. The compositional trend of natural alkaline rocks, melilitites-nephelinites-basanites, may reflect the effect of decreasing pressure.