Experimental Investigations of Low-Ca Pyroxene Stability and Olivine-Pyroxene-Liquid Equilibria at 1-atm In Natural Basaltic and Andesitic Liquids

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This paper reports experiments carried out at 1-atm under conditions of controlled oxygen fugacity, using natural andesites and andesite mixed with augite+synthetic pigeonite or augite+orthopyroxene. The experimental results are used (1) to investigate the controls of Mg# (Mg/[Mg+Fe2+]) and temperature on low-Ca pyroxene stability (pigeonite vs orthopyroxene), (2) to quantify the effects of variations in bulk composition on the position of multiple saturation boundaries in mineral component projection schemes and (3) to develop a thermodynamic model for silica activity for melts saturated with olivine and pyroxene. Over the Mg# range of 0.80–0.30 the minimum temperature of pigeonite stability in natural compositions is equivalent to the Lindsley (1983) boundary determined for pure Ca-Mg-Fe pigeonites. For the low variance, 5-phase assemblage oliv-aug-low-Ca pyroxene-plag-liquid, expressions involving liquid (Na2O+K2O)/(Na2O+K2O+CaO),Mg# and TiO2 content predict temperature and the movement of multiple saturation boundaries in pseudoternary projections in response to changing melt composition. The equilibrium for the low pressure melting of low-Ca pyroxene to olivine+liquid is formulated as a geothermometer and monitor of silica activity. Equilibrium constants estimated from thermochemical data and activities calculated for experimentally produced olivine and pyroxenes are used to develop a model for silica activity in liquid.

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Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v. 103, issue 3, p. 287-305