The partitioning of U, Th, Pb, Sr, Zr and Ba between coexisting chromian diopsides and haplobasaltic liquids at oxygen fugacities between the iron-wüstite buffer and air at 1285°C has been characterized using secondary ion mass spectrometry. The partition coefficients for Th, U and Zr show a strong dependence on the Al and Na content of the clinopyroxene. A good correlation between IVAl and DTh exists for all recent Th partitioning studies, providing a simple explanation for the two order of magnitude variation in DTh observed in this and previous studies [1,2]. Because mantle clinopyroxenes generally have greater than 5 wt% Al2O3, we suggest that the relevant partition coefficients for U and Th are between 0.01 and 0.02. While variations in Al and Na in clinopyroxene affect the absolute value of the Th and U partition coefficients, they have no effect on their ratio, DTh DU. Our results reinforce the inference that equilibrium partitioning of U and Th between clinopyroxene and melt cannot explain the observed 230Th excesses in basalts. Indeed, under the oxygen fugacities relevant to MORB petrogenesis, clinopyroxene has little ability to fractionate U from Th ( DTh DU < 2), implying that chemical disequilibrium between melt and wall rock during transport is not required to preserve 230Th excesses generated in the garnet stability field. If the Ba partition coefficient serves as an analog for Ra and the partition coefficient of U5+ serves as an analog for Pa5+, then 226Ra and 231Pa excesses can be generated by clinopyroxene-melt partitioning. Using compositionally dependent partition coefficients, a melting model is used to show that equilibrium porous flow can explain variations in uranium series activities from the East Pacific Rise by varying the depth of melting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Space and Planetary Science
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)