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High pressure phase relations of primitive high-alumina basalts from Medicine Lake volcano, northern California


Anhydrous phase relations were determined at 1 atm and 10 to 15 kbar for primitive high-alumina basalts (79–35g and 82–72f) from Giant Crater at Medicine Lake volcano. These compositions are multiply saturated with olivine+augite+plagioclase+spinel+/-orthopyroxene near the liquidus at about 11 kbar. Experiments on mixtures of sample 79–35g with orthopyroxene and olivine determined the location of the multiple saturation boundaries where liquid coexists with the assemblage olivine+augite+orthopyroxene+plagioclase at 10 kbar and olivine+augite+orthopyroxene+spinel at 15 kbar. The mix experiments showed that primitive Medicine Lake high alumina basalts (HABs) are close in composition to liquids in equilibrium with a mantle lherzolite source containing olivine+augite+ orthopyroxene+spinel+plagioclase at 11 kbar. Orthopyroxene observed as a near liquidus phase in an 11 kbar experiment on sample 82–72f supports this conclusion. The most primitive HABs from Medicine Lake are low in K2O (0.07 wt.%), high in MgO (>10 wt.%) and Ni (231 ppm), and have light-rare earth element depletions and large ion lithophile element enrichments. A model for the origin of these near-primary high-alumina basalts is that they are partial melts of a MORB-like mantle lherzolite source that has been enriched by a fluid component derived from the subducted slab. The HAB magma segregated from its mantle residue just below the base of the crust near the crust-mantle boundary.

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Correspondence to Timothy L. Grove.

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Bartels, K.S., Kinzler, R.J. & Grove, T.L. High pressure phase relations of primitive high-alumina basalts from Medicine Lake volcano, northern California. Contr. Mineral. and Petrol. 108, 253–270 (1991).

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  • Olivine
  • High Pressure Phase
  • Fluid Component
  • Medicine Lake
  • Anhydrous Phase