Hydrogen partitioning between melt, clinopyroxene, and garnet at 3 GPa in a hydrous MORB with 6 wt.% H2O

Cyril Aubaud, Marc M. Hirschmann, Anthony C. Withers, Richard L. Hervig

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To understand partitioning of hydrogen between hydrous basaltic and andesitic liquids and coexisting clinopyroxene and garnet, experiments using a mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) + 6 wt.% H2O were conducted at 3 GPa and 1,150-1,325°C. These included both isothermal and controlled cooling rate crystallization experiments, as crystals from the former were too small for ion microprobe (SIMS) analyses. Three runs at lower bulk water content are also reported. H2O was measured in minerals by SIMS and in glasses by SIMS, Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and from oxide totals of electron microprobe (EMP) analyses. At 3 GPa, the liquidus for MORB with 6 wt.% H2O is between 1,300 and 1,325°C. In the temperature interval investigated, the melt proportion varies from 100 to 45% and the modes of garnet and clinopyroxene are nearly equal. Liquid composition varies from basaltic to andesitic. The crystallization experiments starting from above the liquidus failed to nucleate garnets, but those starting from below the liquidus crystallized both garnet and clinopyroxene. SIMS analyses of glasses with >7 wt.% H2O yield spuriously low concentrations, perhaps owing to hydrogen degassing in the ultra-high vacuum of the ion microprobe sample chamber. FTIR and EMP analyses show that the glasses have 3.4 to 11.9 wt.% water, whilst SIMS analyses indicate that clinopyroxenes have 1,340-2,330 ppm and garnets have 98-209 ppm H2O. DHcpx-gt is 11 ± 3, DHcpx-melt is 0.023 ± 0.005 and DHgt-melt is 0.0018 ± 0.0006. Most garnet/melt pairs have low values of DHgt-melt, but DHgt-melt increases with TiO2 in the garnet. As also found by previous studies, values of DHcpx-melt increase with Al2O3 of the crystal. For garnet pyroxenite, estimated values of DHpyroxenite-melt decrease from 0.015 at 2.5 GPa to 0.0089 at 5 GPa. Hydration will increase the depth interval between pyroxenite and peridotite solidi for mantle upwelling beneath ridges or oceanic islands. This is partly because the greater pyroxene/olivine ratio in pyroxenite will tend to enhance the H2O concentration of pyroxenite, assuming that neighboring pyroxenite and peridotite bodies have similar H2O in their pyroxenes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-625
Number of pages19
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments We thank David Kohlstedt and Mark Zimmer-mann for providing starting materials and Dan Ruscitto for the HF dissolution of the iron pretreated capsules. We are grateful to Ellery Frahm for help with electron microprobe analyses, to Yunbin Guan for his help during the early developments of the SIMS analysis at ASU, and to Simon Kohn and an anonymous reviewer for helpful and detailed reviews. Parts of this work were carried out in the Minnesota Characterization Facility, which receives partial support from NSF through the NNIN program. This work was supported by NSF EAR-0456405 and OCE-0623550.

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • High pressure experiments
  • Hydrogen partitioning
  • Partial melting
  • Pyroxenite

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