UBC Undergraduate Research

Geochemistry of the Baie Charrier Basaltic Section, Courbet Peninsula, Kerguelen Archipelago: Implications for the Composition of the Kerguelen Mantle Plume. Hanano, Diane

Abstract

The Baie Charrier basaltic section is located on the northern Courbet Peninsula on the Kerguelen Archipelago. The archipelago represents the emergent part of the Northern Kerguelen Plateau, part of the Kerguelen large igneous province in the southern Indian Ocean. The archipelago formed through volcanism (40 Ma to recent) related to the Kerguelen mantle plume. This study presents a detailed petrographic and geochemical analysis of basalts from the Baie Charrier section. The results of this study will compliment the 1000 m Mt. Crozier section located in the center of the Courbet Peninsula. Mineral compositions of olivine and clinopyroxene phenocrysts by electron microprobe analysis were obtained for phenocryst zoning profiles and mineral-melt equilibria. Major and trace element concentrations by XRF and high-resolution ICP-MS, as well as Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic compositions by TIMS and multi-collector ICP-MS define the chemical and isotopic characteristics of the Baie Charrier section. Based on petrographic and geochemical criteria, the Baie Charrier section is subdivided into four distinct units. The Baie Charrier basalts are primarily olivine-phyric, and sometimes contain phenocrysts of plagioclase or clinopyroxene. Mineral chemistry reveals normally zoned phenocrysts, with olivine core compositions ranging from Fo86-70 and clinopyroxene core Mg# ranging from 0.88 to 0.79. The Baie Charrier basalts are mildly alkalic and possess relatively high MgO contents; Units A and C are comprised of high-MgO (8-10 wt.%) basalts, and sample 240 of unit D is a picrite (>16 wt.%). CaO depletion at ~6 wt.% MgO, coupled with a continuously increasing Al2O3 content, reflect fractionation driven by significant clinopyroxene crystallization. Trace element depletion in Ni, Cr, and Sc with decreasing MgO reflect the relative compatibility of these elements in olivine and clinopyroxene phenocrysts. Incompatible element abundance relationships are used to define a relative incompatibility index in order of increasing compatibility: Th

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