Thermal and redox state of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle of NE Spain from thermobarometric data on mantle xenoliths

Gumer Galán, V. Oliveras, B. A. Paterson

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Mantle xenoliths in within-plate Cenozoic alkaline mafic lavas from NE Spain are used to assess the local subcontinental lithospheric mantle geotherm and the influence of melting and metasomatism on its oxidation state. The xenoliths are mainly anhydrous spinel lherzolites and harzburgites and gradations between, with minor pyroxenites. Most types show protogranular textures, but transitional protogranular-porphyroclastic and equigranular lherzolites also exist. Different thermometers used in the estimates provide higher subsolidus equilibrium temperatures for harzburgites (1,062 ± 29°C) than for lherzolites (972 ± 89°C), although there is overlap; the lowest temperatures correspond to porphyroclastic lherzolites, whereas pyroxenites give the highest temperatures (up to 1,257°C). Maximum pressures for subsolidus equilibrium of peridotites are at 2.0-1.8 GPa. Later they followed adiabatic decompression and harzburgites registered lower pressures (1.02 ± 0.19 GPa) than lherzolites (1.41 ± 0.27 GPa). One pyroxenite gives values consistent with the spinel lherzolite field (1.08 GPa). The shallowest barometric data are in agreement with the highest local conductive geotherms, which implies that the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary is at 70-60 km minimum depth. Higher equilibrium temperatures for the harzburgites could be explained by the existence of mafic magma bodies or dykes at the lower crust-mantle boundary. Paleo-fO2 conditions during partial melting as inferred from the covariation between V and MgO concentrations are mainly between QFM-1 and QFM-2 in log units. However, most thermobarometric fO2 estimates are between QFM-1 and QFM+1, suggesting oxidation caused by later metasomatism during uplift and cooling. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-106
JournalInternational Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Barometers
  • Harzburgites
  • Lherzolites
  • Oxygen fugacity
  • Pyroxenites
  • Thermometers


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