Melting of H2O and CO2-bearing eclogite at 4–6 GPa and 900–1200 °C: Implications for the generation of diamond-forming fluids

Oded Elazar*, Dan Frost, Oded Navon, Ronit Kessel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Eclogites play a significant role in geodynamic processes, transferring large amounts of basaltic material and volatiles (chiefly CO2 and H2O species) into the earth's mantle via subduction. Previous studies of eclogite melting focused on two end member systems: either carbonated or hydrous eclogites. Here we focus on the hydrous carbonated eclogitic system in order to define the position of its solidus and determine the near solidus fluid and melt compositions at 4–6 GPa and 900–1200 °C. Experiments were performed on a rocking multi-anvil press. The total dissolved solids in the equilibrated fluids were analyzed following the cryogenic technique using a LA-ICP-MS. H2O and CO2 content were determined by mass balance calculations. Solid phases were chemically characterized using an EPMA. Garnet and clinopyroxene are present in all experiments, assembling the eclogitic rock. A carbonate phase was detected at all temperatures at 4 GPa and at temperatures below 1200 °C at 5 and 6 GPa. Coesite was observed at all pressures below 1200 °C. The solidus was crossed between 1000 and 1100 °C at 4 and 5 GPa. At 6 GPa we observed a relatively smooth decrease in the H2O and CO2 content of the fluid phase with rising temperature, suggesting the presence of a supercritical fluid. The second critical endpoint is thus defined in this system at ∼5.5 GPa and 1050 °C. The composition of fluids and melts reported in this study indicates that the hydrous carbonated eclogite system is a plausible source-rock for high density fluids (HDFs) found in microinclusions in diamonds, specifically for the intermediate compositions along the array spanned between low-Mg carbonatitic HDFs and hydrous-silicic ones. Our results suggest that the whole array reflects melting in a heterogeneous mantle. Melting of water-rich eclogite produces silicic HDFs, carbonate-rich zones will produce carbonatitc HDFs, while source-rocks with varying H2O/CO2 ratios produce intermediate compositions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)69-87
Number of pages19
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


  • Eclogite
  • diamond formation
  • experimental petrology
  • solidus


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