Ca. 2.7 Ga ferropicritic magmatism: a record of Fe-rich heterogeneities during Neoarchean global mantle melting

Dejan Milidragovic, Don Francis

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 9 October 2015


” … Melting experiments on “pyrolitic” compositions and consideration of the dependence of the density of silicate liquids on pressure and temperature, suggest that ferropicrites cannot originate by melting of normal terrestrial mantle (Mg-number = 0.88-0.92) at high pressures and temperatures. The geochemical similarity between the subalkaline ferropicrites and the shergottite-nakhlite-chassigny (SNC) and howardite-eucrite-diogenite (HED) differentiated meteorites suggests, however, that the Fe-rich mantle may originate from the infall of Fe-rich chondritic meteorites. The occurrence of ca. 2.7 Ga Fe-rich rocks on at least six cratons that are commonly coeval with the more ubiquitous komatiites and Mg-tholeiites is consistent with the existence of heterogeneous Fe-rich “plums” throughout the Neoarchean mantle. The paucity of ferropicrites in the post-2.7 Ga geological record suggests that majority of these Fe-rich plums have been melted out during the global Neoarchean melting of the mantle.”