Felsic and related veins within mantle-derived peridotite xenoliths from Tallante, Spain, were examined in order to understand the mantle-wedge processes related to the behaviour of Si-rich melt. The thickest part of the vein has a quartz diorite lithology, and is composed mainly of quartz and plagioclase, with pyroxenes, hydrous mineral, apatite, zircon and rutile present as minor phases. The thinner parts are free of quartz and predominantly composed of plagioclase. Orthopyroxene always intervenes between the internal part (plagioclase ± quartz) and host peridotite, indicating that it is a product of interaction between silica-oversaturated melt and olivine. This indicates that a sufficiently high melt/wall rock ratio enabled the melt to retain its silicaoversaturated character.
The quartz diorite part has adakite-like geochemical signatures, except for negative Ba, Rb Eu and Sr anomalies, and positive Th and U anomalies. These negative anomalies indicate that fractionation of plagioclase and hydrous minerals was achieved between the upper most mantle and the slab melting zone. The shape of the rare-earth element (REE) pattern of clinopyroxene in quartz diorite is strikingly similar to that of clinopyroxene phenocrysts from Aleutian adakites. However, the former has one order higher REE contents than the latter, except for Eu which shows a prominent negative spike. This feature was caused by the precipitation of large amounts of plagioclase and small amounts of clinopyroxene from a fractionated adakitic melt before and during solidification. This adakitic melt was produced by partial melting of a detached and sinking slab beneath the Betic area in the Tertiary.