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Rocco, I., Lustrino, M., Morra, V., Melluso, L.

Petrological, geochemical and isotopic characteristics of the lithospheric mantle beneath Sardinia (Italy) as indicated by ultramafic xenoliths enclosed in alkaline lavas.

International Journal of Earth Sciences, 2012, vol. 101,  n. 5,  pp. 1111-1125

doi: 10.1007/s00531-011-0729-0


Mantle xenoliths hosted in Miocene-Quaternary mafic alkaline volcanic rocks from Sardinia have been investigated with electron microprobe, laser ablation microprobe-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry and thermal ionization mass spectrometry techniques. The xenoliths are anhydrous clinopyroxene-poor lherzolites and harzburgites, plus very rare websterites and olivine-websterites.
Glassy pods having thin subhedral to euhedral microlites of olivine, clinopyroxene and spinel have been found in harzburgites and websterites. Clinopyroxene shows trace element variability, with values of (La/Yb)N ranging from sub-chondritic (0.01) to supra-chondritic (8.6). The Sr-Nd isotopic ratios of the clinopyroxenes fall mostly in the field of the European lithospheric mantle xenoliths (87Sr/86Sr from 0.70385 to 0.70568 and 143Nd/144Nd ranging from 0.512557 to 0.512953). The geochemical characteristics of the Sardinian xenoliths testify to the variable degrees of earlier partial melt extraction, followed by metasomatic modification by alkaline melts or fluids. Websterites are considered to represent small lenses or veins of cumulitic (i.e. magmatic) origin within the mantle peridotite.