Effects of water, depth and temperature on partial melting of mantle-wedge fluxed by hydrous sediment-melt in subduction zones

Ananya Mallik, Rajdeep Dasgupta, Kyusei Tsuno, Jared Nelson


Mallik, A., Dasgupta, R., Tsuno, K., Nelson, J. (2016). Effects of water, depth and temperature on partial melting of mantle wedge fluxed by hydrous sediment melt in subduction zones. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2016.08.018


Abstract: This study investigates the partial melting of variable bulk H2O-bearing parcels of mantle-wedge hybridized by partial melt derived from subducted metapelites, at pressure-temperature (P-T) conditions applicable to hotter core of the mantle beneath volcanic arcs. Experiments are performed on mixtures of 25% sediment-melt with 75% fertile peridotite, from 1200-1300 °C, at 2 and 3 GPa, with bulk H2O concentrations of 4 and 6 wt.%. Combining the results from these experiments with previous experiments containing 2 wt.% bulk H2O (Mallik et al., 2015), it is observed that all melt compositions, except those produced in the lowest bulk H2O experiments at 3 GPa, are saturated with olivine and orthopyroxene. Also, higher bulk H2O concentration increases melt fraction at the same P-T condition, and causes exhaustion of garnet, phlogopite and clinopyroxene at lower temperatures, for a given pressure. The activity coefficient of silica (ϒSiO2) for olivine-orthopyroxene saturated melt compositions (where the activity of silica, aSiO2, is buffered by the reaction olivine + SiO2 = orthopyroxene) from this study and from mantle melting studies in the literature are calculated. In melt compositions generated at 2 GPa or shallower, with increasing H2O concentration, ϒSiO2 increases from <1 to ~1, indicating a transition from non-ideal mixing as OH in the melt (ϒSiO2 <1) to ideal mixing as molecular H2O (ϒSiO2 ~1). At pressures >2 GPa, ϒSiO2 >1 at higher H2O concentrations in the melt, indicate requirement of excess energy to incorporate molecular H2O in the silicate melt structure, along with a preference for bridging species and polyhedral edge decorations. With vapor saturation in the presence of melt, ϒSiO2 decreases indicating approach towards ideal mixing of H2O in silicate melt. For similar H2O concentrations in the melt, ϒSiO2 for olivine-orthopyroxene saturated melts at 3 GPa is higher than melts at 2 GPa or shallower. This results in melts generated at 3 GPa being more silica-poor than melts at 2 GPa. Thus, variable bulk H2O and pressure of melt generation results in the partial melts from this study varying in composition from phonotephrite to basaltic andesite at 2 GPa and foidite/phonotephrite to basalt at 3 GPa, thus forming a spectrum of arc lavas. Modeling suggests that the trace element patterns of sediment-melt are unaffected by the process of hybridization within the hotter core of the mantle-wedge. K2O/H2O and H2O/Ce ratios of the sediment-melts are unaffected, within error, by the process of hybridization of the mantle-wedge. This implies that thermometers based on K2O/H2O and H2O/Ce ratios of arc lavas may be used to estimate slab-top temperatures when a) sediment-melt from the slab reaches the hotter core of the mantle-wedge by focused flow b) sediment-melt freezes in the overlying mantle at the slab-mantle interface and the hybridized package rises as a mélange diapir and partially melts at the hotter core of the mantle-wedge. Based on the results from this study and previous studies, both channelized and porous flow of sediment-melt/fluid through the sub-arc mantle can explain geochemical signatures of arc lavas under specific geodynamic scenarios of fluid/melt fluxing, hybridization, and subsequent mantle melting.

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