Water and other volatile systematics of olivine-hosted melt inclusions from the Yellowstone hotspot track

C.J. Stefano, S.B. Mukasa, A. Andronikov, W.P. Leeman

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Major oxide, trace element and volatile (H2O, CO2, S, F, and Cl) compositions have been analyzed for olivine-hosted melt inclusions in eight basalt samples from Yellowstone National Park and the Snake River Plain (SRP) to identify the least differentiated melt compositions and assess the volatile budget of the Yellowstone hotspot. Melt-inclusion chemistry was evaluated to understand potential overprinting effects in the shallow mantle and crust of magmas derived from deeper levels. Maximum water concentrations of 3.3 wt% and CO2 up to 1,677 ppm have been observed in olivine-hosted melt inclusions from the Gerritt Basalts at Mesa Falls, Idaho (SRP region), which is significantly higher than the maximum concentrations measured in lavas from other hotspots such as Hawaii (~0. 8-0. 9 wt%). Maximum water concentrations were generally observed in the least differentiated melt inclusions in terms of incompatible major oxide concentrations, indicating that high water concentrations are characteristic of the mantle or perhaps lower crust rather than resulting from differentiation enhancement within the shallow crust, even taking into account the fact that water behaves as an incompatible element during crystal fractionation. Enrichment in Ba coupled with depletion in Th in many of the melt inclusions and their host rocks is a characteristic of many arc lavas and may indicate that volatiles in Yellowstone-Snake River Plain basalts could have a subduction zone origin. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-633
Number of pages19
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

Cited By :7

Export Date: 3 November 2016


  • Hotspots
  • Olivine-hosted melt inclusions
  • Snake River Plain
  • Volatiles
  • Yellowstone


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