Distribution of titanium and the rare earth elements between peridotitic minerals

William Francis Mc Donough, H. G. Stosch, N. G. Ware

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107 Citations (Scopus)


The concentrations of titanium and rare earth elements (REE) in olivines, orthopyroxenes, clinopyroxenes and spinels from four anhydrous, spinel-bearing peridotite xenoliths have been determined. The distribution of titanium (used as an analogue for the high field strength elements: HFSE) relative to the REE between clinopyroxenes and orthopyroxenes varies as a function of the whole rock composition and modal mineralogy. The distribution coefficients for titanium and the REE in these peridotites do not reflect mineral-melt equilibria. It is believed that subsolidus distribution coefficients for HFSE relative to REE vary with temperature. Ratios of various incompatible elements (e.g., Ti/Eu, Zr/Sm, Hf/Sm and P/Nd) in peridotite minerals differ from those in most primary basalts. However, the abundance ratios of incompatible elements in the bulk peridotite are comparable to those found in modern basalts. Given this and the differing contribution of melt from each phase during melting, near constant ratios of such incompatible elements in primary and primitive basalts and komatiites reflect the "buffering" of the melt by its residue. These ratios are fixed in the magma during the initial stages of melting because of similar and low distribution coefficients between melt and bulk residue for these element pairs. Differences in the relative abundances of titanium and REE in clinopyroxenes and orthopyroxenes demonstrate that mantle normalized abundance patterns for clinopyroxene are not equivalent to those of the whole rock. Therefore, claims of a widespread HFSE-depleted reservoir in the upper mantle base solely on the relative abundances of incompatible elements in peridotitic clinopyroxenes are invalid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-328
Number of pages8
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1992 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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