The occurrence of CO2-rich lavas (carbonatites, kimberlites) and carbonate-rich xenoliths provide evidence for the existence of carbonatitic melts in the mantle. To model the chemical composition of such melts in the deep mantle, we experimentally determined partition coefficients for 23 trace elements (including REE, U-Th, HFSE, LILE) between deep mantle minerals and carbonatite liquids at 20 and 25 GPa and 1600 °C. Under these conditions, majoritic garnet and CaSiO3 perovskite are the main reservoirs for trace elements. This study used both femtosecond LA-ICP-MS and SIMS techniques to measure reliable trace element concentrations. Comparison of the two techniques shows a general agreement, except for Sc and Ba. Our experimentally determined partition coefficients are consistent with the lattice strain model. The data suggest an effect of melt structure on partition coefficients in this pressure range. For instance, strain-free partition coefficient (D0) for majorite-carbonatite melts do not follow the order of cation valence, D02 + > D03 + > D04 +, observed for majorite-CO2-free silicate melts. The newly determined partition coefficients were combined with trace element composition of majoritic garnets found as inclusions in diamond to model trace element patterns of deep-seated carbonatites. The result compares favorably with natural carbonatites. This suggests that carbonatites can originate from the mantle transition zone.
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We really want to thank Jean-Luc Devidal (LMV) for microprobe analysis, Jean-Marc Henot for well-tuned back-scattered electron images, Remi Freydier and Frédéric Candaudap for their help with LA-ICP-MS analysis. Nobu Shimizu gave us access to WHOI 3f SIMS, and Bernard Boyer’s assistance at GM 4f SIMS was insightful. Audrey Martin is also acknowledged for her help on multi-anvil apparatus and we gratefully thank Nathalie Bolfan-Casanova for her help on multi-anvil press calibrations and references. The manuscript was significantly improved by the thoughtful, and critical, comments of A. Corgne, W. Van Westrenen, P. Ulmer and an anonymous reviewer. The multianvil apparatus of Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans is financially supported by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Instrument National de l’INSU). Analyses were supported by CNRS funding to LMV, by a BQR to Kenneth T. Koga, and partly by the “ANR Jeunes Chercheurs” 2006 of Estelle F. Rose-Koga.