Melting Temperature and Partial Melt Chemistry of H2O-Saturated Mantle Peridotite to 11 Gigapascals

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Science  11 Apr 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5310, pp. 240-243
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5310.240

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The H2O-saturated solidus of a model mantle composition (Kilborne Hole peridotite nodule, KLB-1) was determined to be just above 1000°C from 5 to 11 gigapascals. Given reasonable H2O abundances in Earth’s mantle, an H2O-rich fluid could exist only in a region defined by the wet solidus and thermal stability limits of hydrous minerals, at depths between 90 and 330 kilometers. The experimental partial melts monotonously became more mafic with increasing pressure from andesitic composition at 1 gigapascal to more mafic than the starting peridotite at 10 gigapascals. Because the chemistry of the experimental partial melts is similar to that of kimberlites, it is suggested that kimberlites may be derived by low-temperature melting of an H2O-rich mantle at depths of 150 to 300 kilometers.

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