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Xenoliths of dunites, wehrlites and clinopyroxenites in the basanites from Batoke volcanic cone (Mount Cameroon, Central Africa): petrogenetic implications

Abstract : The lavas of the Mount Cameroon, a Plio-Quaternary stratovolcano and the most important volcano along the Cameroon Volcanic Line (CVL), constitute a weakly differentiated alkaline series: mainly comprising basanites as well as alkaline basalts, hawaiites and mugearites. Ultramafic xenoliths (1–5 × 0.5–4 cm) of dunites, wehrlites and clinopyroxenites have been discovered in the basanites of a strombolian cone, located near Batoke on the South flank of the massif at an elevation of 500 m. K-Ar whole rock dating of the basanitic host rock has yielded an age of 0.73 ± 0.08 Ma. This result falls within the range of the seven new K-Ar age determinations of mafic lavas, between 2.83 Ma and the Present. These are the first K-Ar data on this massif. The 87Sr/86Sr ratios of basic lavas are low (0.703198–0.703344), and 143Nd/144Nd ratios are intermediate (0.512851–0.512773). These ratios are typical of a mantle origin. The main characteristics of the xenoliths are: (a) total FeO contents are 15.1 to 19.1 wt.% in olivines (chrysolite, Mg# ranging from 79 to 84) of xenoliths, and 4.7 to 6.9 wt.% in diopsides of xenoliths, (b) diopsides of the clinopyroxenites have up to 7.2 wt.% Al2O3 and 2.3 wt.% TiO2, (c) spinels occur as interstitial grains between chrysolite and diopside grains, i.e. Cr2O3-rich magnetites (19 to 21 wt.% Cr2O3) in the dunites as well as (22 to 25 wt.% Cr2O3) in the wehrlites and titanomagnetites (14 to 15 wt.% TiO2) in the clinopyroxenites. Mineralogical analyses show an important re-equilibration between the chrysolite xenocrysts and the host basanitic magma. We observed a decrease in Mg and Ni towards the rim, and an enrichment in all others cations like Fe, Mn, Ca, Si. The changes of Fe2+ / Mg2+ are the most important. The xenoliths are interpreted as cumulates: clinopyroxenite xenoliths have probably crystallized and fractionated at an early stage from the mafic (host basanitic) magma, while dunite and wehrlite xenoliths seem to have crystallized from a previous more primitive batch of magma. These alkaline liquids could have been derived from partial melting of a garnet- rich lherzolite in the upper mantle beneath the Cameroon Volcanic Line. The AlIV/AlVI ratios remain high (1.2 to 4.9) in the clinopyroxenes of the xenoliths. This suggests crystallization under a lower pressure than that of equilibration of the clinopyroxenes (ratios 0.6 to 0.8) found in typical mantle xenoliths from the CVL.
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Submitted on : Friday, July 17, 2009 - 5:03:26 PM
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P. Wandji, J. P. F. Tsafack, J.M Bardintzeff, D. G. Nkouathio, A. Kagou Dongmo, et al.. Xenoliths of dunites, wehrlites and clinopyroxenites in the basanites from Batoke volcanic cone (Mount Cameroon, Central Africa): petrogenetic implications. Mineralogy and Petrology, Springer Verlag, 2009, 96 (1-2), pp.81-98. ⟨10.1007/s00710-008-0040-3⟩. ⟨insu-00405101⟩



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