Effect of Water on the Composition of Partial Melts of Greenstone and Amphibolite

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Science  14 Apr 1989:
Vol. 244, Issue 4901, pp. 195-197
DOI: 10.1126/science.244.4901.195


Closed-system partial melts of hydrated, metamorphosed arc basalts and andesites (greenstones and amphibolites), where only water structurally bound in metamorphic minerals is available for melting (dehydration melting), are generally water-undersaturated, coexist with plagioclase-rich, anhydrous restites, and have compositions like island arc tonalites. In contrast, water-saturated melting at water pressures of 3 kilobars yields strongly peraluminous, low iron melts that coexist with an amphibolebearing, plagioclase-poor restite. These melt compositions are unlike those of most natural silicic rocks. Thus, dehydration melting over a range of pressures in the crust of island arcs is a plausible mechanism for the petrogenesis of islands arc tonalite, whereas water-saturated melting at pressure of 3 kilobars and above is not.