Melting of metasomatized peridotite at 4–6 GPa and up to 1200 °C: an experimental approach

R. Kessel*, T. Pettke, P. Fumagalli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The phase assemblages and compositions in a K-bearing lherzolite + H2O system are determined between 4 and 6 GPa and 850–1200 °C, and the melting reactions occurring at subarc depth in subduction zones are constrained. Experiments were performed on a rocking multi-anvil apparatus. The experiments had around 16 wt% water content, and hydrous melt or aqueous fluid was segregated and trapped in a diamond aggregate layer. The compositions of the aqueous fluid and hydrous melt phases were measured using the cryogenic LA-ICP-MS technique. The residual lherzolite consists of olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, and garnet, while diamond (C) is assumed to be inert. Hydrous and alkali-rich minerals were absent from the run products due to preferred dissolution of K2O (and Na2O) to the aqueous fluid/hydrous melt phases. The role of phlogopite in melting relations is, thus, controlled by the water content in the system: at the water content of around 16 wt% used here, phlogopite is unstable and thus does not participate in melting reactions. The water-saturated solidus, i.e., the first appearance of hydrous melt in the K–lherzolite composition, is located between 900 and 1000 °C at 4 GPa and between 1000 and 1100 °C at 5 and 6 GPa. Compositional jumps between hydrous melt and aqueous fluid at the solidus include a significant increase in the total dissolved solids load. All melts/fluids are peralkaline and calcium-rich. The melting reactions at the solidus are peritectic, as olivine, clinopyroxene, garnet, and H2O are consumed to generate hydrous melt plus orthopyroxene. Our fluid/melt compositional data demonstrate that the water-saturated hybrid peridotite solidus lies above 1000 °C at depths greater than 150 km and that the second critical endpoint is not reached at 6 GPa for a K2O–Na2O–CaO–FeO–MgO–Al2O3–SiO2–H2O–Cr2O3(–TiO2) peridotite composition.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Aqueous fluids
  • High-pressure experiments
  • Hybrid mantle
  • Hydrous melts
  • Metasomatized peridotite
  • Subduction zone
  • Water-saturated solidus


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