Melt-peridotite reactions and fluid metasomatism in the upper mantle, revealed from the geochemistry of peridotite and gabbro from the Horoman peridotite massif, Japan

Sanjeewa P.K. Malaviarachchi, Akio Makishima, Eizo Nakamura

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19 Citations (Scopus)


An investigation of the petrology and geochemistry of peridotites and gabbros in the Horoman massif, Hokkaido, Japan was undertaken to constrain geochemical processes in the upper mantle.Two types of sample were studied: one type comprises peridotites and gabbros forming thin layers varying from a few millimeters to centimeters in scale (thin-layer peridotites and gabbros); the other comprises thick layers (>1m scale; massive peridotites and gabbros). There is no clear trace element evidence for metasomatism in the thin-layer peridotites. Instead, they have melt-rock reaction textures interpreted in terms of the formation of secondary pyroxene at the expense of primary porphyroclastic olivine and dissolution of primary porphyroclastic pyroxene to form secondary olivine. The thin-layer gabbros also exhibit no metasomatic effects; they have incompatible element depleted trace element characteristics and mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB)-like isotopic signatures consistent with the presence of a new type of gabbro that previously has not been described from the Horoman Massif.The whole-rock chemistry of the thin-layer peridotites and thin-layer gabbros can be explained by melt-peridotite reactions between isotopically highly depleted MORB mantle (represented by the thin-layer peridotites) and melt with geochemical affinity to Pacific MORB (represented by the thin-layer gabbros). Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf isotope systematics suggest that these reactions might have occurred at ~300 Ma. Some of the plagioclase lherzolites and all of the spinel lherzolites and harzburgites within the massive peridotites show enrichment in incompatible trace elements and more radiogenic Hf-Nd-Pb isotopic compositions than the incompatible-element depleted thin-layer peridotites. The analyzed massive gabbros are interpreted as subduction-related magmas formed in a MORB-source mantle wedge, which have subsequently interacted with a fluid or melt in the Hidaka subduction zone. Hf-Nd-Pb isotope systematics reveal that this interaction may have occurred at an age younger than~50 Ma. Meltand fluid-related processes occurring in the upper mantle are systematically identified from the samples of the Horoman Massif based on petrography, major and trace element, and Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf isotope geochemistry. These processes occurred in different tectonic settings such as the convecting oceanic mantle and supra-subduction zone mantle wedge and have variably modified the original chemistry of residual mantle protolith, formed by partial melting of a depleted MORB source mantle at ~1Ga.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberegq024
Pages (from-to)1417-1445
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Petrology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 11 2010


  • Horoman peridotite
  • Melt-rock reaction
  • Metasomatism
  • Upper mantle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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