Petit-spot as definitive evidence for partial melting in the asthenosphere caused by CO 2

Shiki Machida, Tetsu Kogiso, Naoto Hirano

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37 Citations (Scopus)


The deep carbon cycle plays an important role on the chemical differentiation and physical properties of the Earth's mantle. Especially in the asthenosphere, seismic low-velocity and high electrical conductivity due to carbon dioxide (CO 2)-induced partial melting are expected but not directly observed. Here we discuss the experimental results relevant to the genesis of primitive CO 2-rich alkali magma forming petit-spot volcanoes at the deformation front of the outer rise of the northwestern Pacific plate. The results suggest that primitive melt last equilibrated with depleted peridotite at 1.8-2.1 GPa and 1,280-1,290 °C. Although the equilibration pressure corresponds to the pressure of the lower lithosphere, by considering an equilibration temperature higher than the solidus in the volatile-peridotite system along with the temperature of the lower lithosphere, we conclude that CO 2-rich silicate melt is always produced in the asthenosphere. The melt subsequently ascends into and equilibrates with the lower lithosphere before eruption.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14302
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 2


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