EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

K and Ti metasomatism of the mantle wedge by fluids under sub-arc conditions

Dimitri Sverjensky and Simon Matthews
Dimitri Sverjensky and Simon Matthews
  • Johns Hopkins University, Dept. of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Baltimore, MD 21218, United States of America (

It is well documented that subducting slabs influence arc volcanics. Slab components are transferred to the mantle wedge by fluids and/or melts. Aqueous fluids released from the slab are thought to trigger partial melting in the mantle wedge and potentially influence the chemistry of the lavas that erupt in island arcs. Both fluids and melts from the slab have been proposed to transfer chemical elements to the mantle wedge. However, exactly how this occurs chemically and physically remains unclear. Recent progress in developing a Deep Earth Water model calibrated with experimental mineral and rock solubility data under sub-arc conditions now enables the chemical mass transfer from slab to mantle wedge to be predicted for comparison with natural samples.

            We report a new aqueous speciation model for Ti-species calibrated with experimental data Kessel and co-workers and Antignano and Manning that includes a neutral Ti-OH species, a Na-Ti-silicate anion, and a Ti-silicate-bicarbonate anion. The Ti-OH species is only important in almost pure water. However, the Na-Ti-silicate anion is important in high-silica fluids (e.g. in equilibrium with quartz or coesite-bearing mafic eclogites) but is overtaken in importance by the Ti-silicate-bicarbonate complex in CO2-bearing fluids.

            In the present study, we modeled the metasomatic reactions when a fluid in equilibrium with a mafic eclogite leaves a subducting slab and encounters lherzolite in the overlying mantle wedge. Initially, the mafic eclogitic fluid was in equilibrium with clinopyroxene, garnet, coesite, diamond, magnesite solid-solution, and rutile at 700°C and 4.0 GPa. Whilst the presence of CO2 enables the modelled fluid to carry 600 mg/kg H2O of nominally immobile Ti from the slab into the wedge, the fluid transports a factor of 30 more K. The fluid was then heated to 950°C and simultaneously reacted irreversibly with lherzolite containing 0.86 wt% K2O and 0.084 wt% TiO2. The resultant metasomatized peridotite consisted of olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, and garnet to which phlogopite-rich biotite had been added, and from which the TiO2 component was subtracted. Overall, the metasomatism resulted in K-enrichment and Ti-depletion in the metasomatized part of the mantle wedge. The final fluid was enriched in Ti (2,830 mg/kg H2O) with lowered K (11,600 mg/kg H2O). Both the remaining fluid and metasomatized mantle may serve as sources of the elevated K/Ti ratios in arc volcanics relative to MORB.

How to cite: Sverjensky, D. and Matthews, S.: K and Ti metasomatism of the mantle wedge by fluids under sub-arc conditions, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-17987,, 2020