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Experimental constraints on pre-eruption conditions of pantelleritic magmas : evidence from the Eburru complex, Kenya Rift.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date10/2006
Number of pages14
Original languageEnglish


The phase relationships and compositions of a pantellerite from the Eburru complex in the Kenya Rift Valley have been determined at 150 MPa and under reducing conditions, 2 log units below the Ni–NiO solid buffer. The effects of temperature and melt water content on phase relationships have been explored. Alkali feldspar and quartz crystallise alone at temperatures above 700 °C, irrespective of melt water content. Below 700 °C, sodic amphibole and clinopyroxene also crystallise; the amphibole being the liquidus phase under water-rich conditions. The coexistence of amphibole phenocrysts with alkali feldspar and quartz in a crystal-poor pantellerite implies temperatures below 700 °C and melt water contents higher than 4 wt.%, possibly up to 5–6 wt.%. Pantellerites have lower liquidus temperatures than associated comendites, which supports a parent–daughter relationship between the two magma types. The melts produced in the experiments extend the compositional trend displayed by the natural rock series, and reproduce some extreme compositions occasionally observed in alkaline volcanic series, with FeO contents above 12 wt.% and Na2O contents approaching 10 wt.%. Pantellerites are therefore the true near-minimum melt compositions of alkaline oversaturated magma series