Pyroxene-carbonate reactions in the CaMgSi2O6 ± NaAlSi2O6 + MgCO3 ± Na2CO3 ± K2CO3 system at 3–6 GPa: Implications for partial melting of carbonated peridotite

Anton Shatskiy, Ivan V. Podborodnikov, Anton V. Arefiev, Altyna Bekhtenova, Yulia G. Vinogradova, Konstantin M. Stepanov, Konstantin D. Litasov

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The reactions between pyroxenes and carbonates have been studied in the CaMgSi2O6 + MgCO3 (Di + 2Mgs), CaMgSi2O6 + NaAlSi2O6 + 2MgCO3 (Di + Jd + 2Mgs), CaMgSi2O6 + Na2Mg(CO3)2 (Di + Eit), and CaMgSi2O6 + K2Mg(CO3)2 (Di + K2Mg) systems at pressures of 3.0 and 4.5 GPa in the temperature range 850–1300 °C and compared with those established previously at 6.0 GPa. The Di + 2Mgs solidus locates at 1220 °C / 3 GPa and 1400 °C / 6 GPa. Near-solidus melt is carbonatitic with SiO2 < 4 wt% and Ca# 56. The Di + Jd + 2Mgs solidus locates near 1050 °C at 3 GPa, rises to 1200 °C at 4.5 GPa, and 1350 °C at 6 GPa. The solidus is controlled by the reaction: 4NaAlSi2O6·2CaMgSi2O6 (clinopyroxene) + 12MgCO3 (magnesite) = 2MgAl2SiO6·5Mg2Si2O6 (clinopyroxene) + 2[Na2CO3·CaCO3·MgCO3] (liquid) + 6CO2. As pressure increases, the composition of solidus melt evolves from 26Na2CO3∙74Ca0.58Mg0.42CO3 at 3 GPa to 10Na2CO3∙90Ca0.50Mg0.50CO3 at 6 GPa. Melting in the Di + Eit and Di + K2Mg systems is controlled by the reactions: CaMgSi2O6 (clinopyroxene) + 2(Na or K)2 Mg(CO3)2 (eitelite) = Mg2Si2O6 (orthopyroxene) + 2[(Na or K)2CO3∙Ca0.5Mg0.5CO3] (liquid). The Di + Eit solidus locates at 925 °C / 3 GPa and 1100 °C / 6 GPa, whereas the Di + K2Mg solidus is located at 50 °C lower. The resulting melts have alkali-rich carbonate compositions, (Na or K)2CO3∙Ca0.4Mg0.6CO3. The obtained results suggest that most carbonates belong to the ultramafic suite would survive during subduction into the deep mantle and experience partial melting involving alkaline carbonates, eitelite or K2Mg(CO3)2, under geothermal conditions of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (35–40 mW/m2). On the other hand, the jadeite component in clinopyroxene would be an important fluxing agent responsible for the partial melting of carbonated rocks under the rift margin geotherm (60 mW/m2) at a depth of about 100 km, yielding the formation of Na-carbonatite melt.

Original languageEnglish
Article number34
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Alkalis
  • Carbonate
  • Carbonatite melt
  • Clinopyroxene
  • Earth’s mantle
  • High-pressure experiment



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