Major element composition of the lithospheric mantle under the North Atlantic craton: Evidence from peridotite xenoliths of the Sarfartoq area, southwestern Greenland

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The composition and thermal state of the lithospheric mantle under the North Atlantic craton was investigated using a suite of peridotite xenoliths from the diamond-bearing Sarfartoq kimberlite dike swarm of southwestern Greenland. Elevated olivine and whole-rock Mg# (>0.9) attest to the refractory nature of the Sarfartoq mantle showing comparable degrees of depletion to other cratonic roots. Modal analyses indicate that the Sarfartoq mantle is not typified by the orthopyroxene enrichment observed in the Kaapvaal root, but shows more affinity with the Canadian Arctic (Somerset Island), Tanzania, and East Greenland (Wiedemann Fjord) peridotites. The Sarfartoq peridotites have equilibrated at temperatures and pressures ranging from 660 to 1,280 °C and from 2.2 to 6.3 GPa, and define a relatively low mantle heat flow of 13.2 ± 1 mW/m. In addition, the lithospheric mantle underneath the Sarfartoq area is compositionally layered as follows: (1) an internally stratified upper layer (70 to 180 km) consisting of coarse, un-deformed, refractory garnet-bearing and garnet-free peridotites and, (2) a lower layer (180 to 225 km) characterized by fertile, CPX-bearing, porphyroclastic garnet lherzolites. The stratification observed in the upper refractory harzburgite layer (70-180 km) is reflected by an increase in fertility (e.g., decrease in olivine abundance and forsterite content) with depth. The sharp nature of the boundary between the upper and lower layers may indicate multistage growth of the lithospheric mantle.
Original languageEnglish
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)223-240
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2003

ID: 45193542