Pyroxenites are an essential component in petrological and geochemical models for melt formation at mid-ocean ridges and ocean islands. Despite their rarity, their origin has been widely discussed and various processes have been invoked for their formation. Here, we present a detailed study of the microtextures and major, minor and trace element compositions of relatively fresh pyroxenites and associated harzburgites from the ultraslow-spreading Lena Trough, Arctic Ocean. Microtextural and geochemical characteristics suggest an origin by magmatic assimilation-fractional crystallization with a high ratio of mass crystallized to mass assimilated.The major element compositions of pyroxenes suggest that this process occurred at high pressures (>0.7 GPa), although interstitial plagioclase in two of the pyroxenites indicates that melt-rock reaction continued at lower pressures.The parental melt to the pyroxenites was most probably depleted mid-ocean ridge basalt similar to basalts from the North Lena Trough and westernmost Gakkel Ridge; basalts from the Central LenaTrough cannot have functioned as parental melts. The melt was generated close to the garnet-spinel facies transition by variable degrees of partial melting and reacted with the local refractory harzburgite. Pyroxenites from this study provide further evidence, together with plagioclase-bearing and vein-bearing peridotites, for significant melt stagnation below the Lena Trough that occurred over a range of depths, either continuously or stepwise. Comparison with abyssal pyroxenites reveals common characteristics, suggesting that, consistent with results of high-pressure crystallization experiments, they mark the onset of (reactive) crystallization of melts passing through the deeper parts of the mid-ocean ridge plumbing system. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Journal of Petrology
Laukert, G., Von Der Handt, A., Hellebrand, E., Snow, J., Hoppe, P., & Klügel, A. (2014). High-pressure reactive melt stagnation recorded in abyssal pyroxenites from the ultraslow-spreading Lena Trough, Arctic Ocean. Journal of Petrology, 55 (2), 427-458. https://doi.org/10.1093/petrology/egt073