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Limestone assimilation by basaltic magmas: an experimental re-assessment and application to Italian volcanoes

Abstract : The results of an experimental study of limestone assimilation by hydrated basaltic magmas in the range 1050-1150°C, 0.1–500 MPa are reported. Alkali basalts doped with up to 19 wt% of Ca,Mg-carbonates were equilibrated in internally heated pressure vessels and the resulting phase relationships are described. The major effects of carbonate incorporation are: 1) generation of CO2-rich fluid phases; 2) change in liquidus phase equilibria; the crystallization of Ca-rich clinopyroxene is favored and the other phases (e.g. olivine, plagioclase), present in the absence of carbonate assimilation, are consumed. As a consequence of the massive clinopyroxene crystallization, the residual melt is strongly silica-depleted and becomes nepheline-normative. Compositional and mineralogical evolutions observed in Mt.Vesuvius eruptive products match those documented in our experiments with added carbonates, suggesting the possibility that carbonate assimilation increased during the last 25ka of activity. In Central-Southern Italy, carbonate assimilation at shallow levels probably superimposes on deeper source heterogeneities.
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Giada Iacono-Marziano, Fabrice Gaillard, Michel Pichavant. Limestone assimilation by basaltic magmas: an experimental re-assessment and application to Italian volcanoes. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, Springer Verlag, 2008, 155 (6), pp.719-738. ⟨10.1007/s00410-007-0267-8⟩. ⟨insu-00194400⟩

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