Mineral associations and major element compositions of base metal sulphides from the subcontinental lithospheric mantle of NE Spain

Gumer Galán, Erzika Cruz, Mercè Fernández-Roig, Francisco J. Martínez, Valentí Oliveras

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© 2015, Springer-Verlag Wien. This study deals with textural types and major element compositions of Cu-Ni-Fe sulphides from spinel lherzolite, harzburgite and olivine websterite xenoliths found in alkali basaltic rocks of the Neogene-Quaternary volcanic zone of Catalonia (NE Spain). Sulphides in harzburgites and websterites are scarce. Four textural types have been distinguished: inclusions in silicates and spinel, trails of small droplets often radiating from inclusions, interstitial grains, and grains related to pyrometamorphic textures. The mineral associations are dominated by one or two low-temperature monosulphide solid solutions: mss1, mss2, occasionally accompanied by pyrrhotite, pentlandite and Cu-rich sulphides. Compositions of mss1 are more Fe-enriched in inclusions and interstitial grains than in grains related to pyrometamorphism. Compositions of mss2 are Ni-rich very close to pentlandite. Sulphide bulk compositions correspond to high-temperature monosulphide solid solution equilibrated with a relatively Cu-Ni enriched sulphide melt at 1100–1000 °C. The breakdown products of these earlier compositions could have been either equilibrated below 600, 300 °C or being at disequilibrium. A restitic origin is consistent with the main sulphide mineral associations, the estimated melt extraction for peridotites (<30 %) and with the fact that lherzolites are less affected by cryptic metasomatism than harzburgites. However, Ni exchange coefficients between olivine and the high-temperature monosulphide solid solution underestimate equilibrium values. This suggests that some lherzolites could derive from pervasive refertilization. The scarcity of sulphides in websterites is explained by S incompatible behaviour during the formation of earlier cumulates from the mafic alkaline magmas which caused the cryptic metasomatism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-101
JournalMineralogy and Petrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


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