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Geochemistry of plutonic spinels from the North Kamchatka Arc: comparisons with spinels from other tectonic settings

  • Pavel K. Kepezhinskas (a1), Rex N. Taylor (a2) and Hisao Tanaka (a3)


Ultramafic to marie plutons in the Olyutor Range, North Kamchatka, represent the magmatic roots of a late Eocene arc, related to the westward subduction of the Komandorsky Basin beneath the Asian continental margin. Olyutor Range plutons are concentrically zoned with cumulate dunite cores mantled by a wehrlite-pyroxenite transitional zone and, in turn, by a narrow gabbroic rim.

Spinel is a common accessory mineral in these arc plutonics, and we present analyses of spinels from a range of lithologies. A continuous compositional trend is observed from Cr-spinel in the ultramafics to Cr-rich magnetite in marginal gabbros. Complex chemical zoning patterns within individual spinel grains suggest an interplay between fO2, fractionation, volatile content and subsequent sub-solidus reequilibration of spinel with co-existing silicates (mainly olivine).

In general, the spinels from magmatic arc environments are characterised by high total Fe and high Fe3+ contents compared to MORB and boninitic spinels and higher Cr-values relative to oceanic basin spinels. These differences imply a high oxygen fugacity during arc petrogenesis. Differences are also observed between plutonic spinels from arcs and low-Ti supra-subduction zone ophiolites. Low-Ti ophiolitic spinels are generally poorer in iron and richer in Cr, and hence are similar in composition and perhaps tectonic setting to fore-arc boninitic spinels.



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Geochemistry of plutonic spinels from the North Kamchatka Arc: comparisons with spinels from other tectonic settings

  • Pavel K. Kepezhinskas (a1), Rex N. Taylor (a2) and Hisao Tanaka (a3)


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