We performed modified iterative sandwich experiments (MISE) to determine the composition of carbonatitic melt generated near the solidus of natural, fertile peridotite + CO2 at 1,200-245°C and 6.6 GPa. Six iterations were performed with natural peridotite (MixKLB-1: Mg# = 89.7) and ∼10 wt% added carbonate to achieve the equilibrium carbonatite composition. Compositions of melts and coexisting minerals converged to a constant composition after the fourth iteration, with the silicate mineral compositions matching those expected at the solidus of carbonated peridotite at 6.6 GPa and 1,230°C, as determined from a sub-solidus experiment with MixKLB-1 peridotite. Partial melts expected from a carbonated lherzolite at a melt fraction of 0.01-0.05% at 6.6 GPa have the composition of sodic iron-bearing dolomitic carbonatite, with molar Ca/(Ca + Mg) of 0.413 ±0.001, Ca# [100 × molar Ca/(Ca + Mg + Fe*)] of 37.1 ± 0.1, and Mg# of 83.7 ±0.6. SiO2, TiO2 and Al2O3 concentrations are 4.1 ± 0.1, 1.0 ± 0.1, and 0.30 ± 0.02 wt%, whereas the Na2O concentration is 4.0 ± 0.2 wt%. Comparison of our results with other iterative sandwich experiments at lower pressures indicate that near-solidus carbonatite derived from mantle lherzolite become less calcic with increasing pressure. Thus carbonatitic melt percolating through the deep mantle must dissolve cpx from surrounding peridotite and precipitate opx. Significant FeO* and Na2 O concentrations in near solidus carbonatitic partial melt likely account for the ∼150°C lower solidus temperature of natural carbonated peridotite compared to the solidus of synthetic peridotite in the system CMAS + CO2. The experiments demonstrate that the MISE method can determine the composition of partial melts at very low melt fraction after a small number of iterations.
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Acknowledgments We are thankful to an anonymous referee for constructive reviews. RD acknowledges support of the Graduate School of University of Minnesota through a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship towards the early part of this study and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University for a post-doctoral research fellowship during preparation of the manuscript. The work also received support from NSF grants EAR 0310142 and EAR 0609967 to MMH.
- Experimental petrology
- Iterative sandwich experiments
- Mantle peridotite
- Partial melting