The mineralogy of a komatiite varies systematically through the typical stratigraphic section of a komatiite flow and reflects magmatic processes which komatiites are susceptible to during their eruption and cooling. Pages. Variations in texture across a several metre-thick komatiite flow showing well developed layering. Komatiites are rare and predominantly found in rocks of Archaean age, with few Proterozoic or Phanerozoic komatiites known. Komatiite tends to fractionate from high-magnesium compositions in the flow bases where olivine cumulates dominate, to lower magnesium compositions higher up in the flow. The more magnesian-rich olivine-rich flow base facies tend to be free from tremolite and chlorite mineralogy and are dominated by either serpentine-brucite +/- anthophyllite if hydrated, or talc-magnesite if carbonated. Komatiites are considered to have been formed by high degrees of partial melting, usually greater than 50%, and hence have high MgO with low K2O and other incompatible elements. The typical komatiite lava flow has six stratigraphically related elements; Individual flow units may not be entirely preserved, as subsequent flow units may thermally erode the A zone spinifex flows. Komatiites often show pillow lava structure, autobrecciated upper margins consistent with underwater eruption forming a rigid upper skin to the lava flows. Arndt, N.T., and Lesher, C.M. Komatiite was named for its type locality along the Komati River in South Africa, and ... leaving extremely thin lava flows (down to 10 mm thick). Analogue of : Early earth, Mars, Igneous, Water weathering. Komatiitic lava was extremely fluid when it erupted (possessing the viscosity close to that of water but with the density of rock). Actinolite sometimes occurs as thin splintery inclusion s inside quartz crystals. Naldrett & Mason (1968)presented detailed descriptions of skeletal olivine mor… The higher melting temperatures required to produce komatiite have been attributed to the presumed higher geothermal gradients in the Archaean Earth. The character of the connate fluids which are present during low temperature metamorphism whether prograde or retrograde control the metamorphic assemblage of a metakomatiite (hereafter the prefix meta- is assumed). Petrogenesis and geochemistry of Archean Komatiites. Modified from Thurston et al., 2008. This tends to lower MgO, Cr, Ni, and increase Al, K2O, Na, CaO and SiO2 toward the top of the flow. This is a thin section of a melaseyenite nown as Shonkinite, from the type locality, the Shonkin Sag laccolith, Montana, USA. The previous interpretations of these large komatiite bodies was that they were "super channels" or reactivated channels, which grew to over 500 m in stratigraphic thickness during prolonged volcanism. All known komatiites have been metamorphosed, therefore should technically be termed 'metakomatiite' though the prefix meta is inevitably assumed. 410 Likes, 7 Comments - TravelingGeologist (@travelinggeologist) on Instagram: “Here’s a lovely thin section of #spinifex texture of a #komatiite. They are the signature rock type of a hotter early Earth. Learn how and when to remove this template message, https://doi.org/10.1093/petrology/41.10.1467, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2010.01.022, https://doi.org/10.1016/0024-4937(93)90042-B, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lithos.2016.10.033, "Igneous Rock Associations 10. Modern (post-2004) interpretations of some of the larger olivine adcumulate bodies in the Yilgarn craton have revealed that the majority of komatiite olivine adcumulate occurrences are likely to be subvolcanic to intrusive in nature. Komatiite - Gas vesidules filled with mg. Quench textures - Flow N (end of hammer) Peridotitic Komatiite Quenched textures (end of hammer) N N1-156 page 4 de 11 PLAIE I Hand specimen description a) Minerals talc serpentine olivine magnetite PLAIE II b) Texture Top layers of flows (quench layers) composed of tRlc and serpentine are foliated. Komatiite / k oʊ ˈ m ɑː t i. aɪ t / is a type of ultramafic mantle-derived volcanic rock.Komatiites have low silicon, potassium and aluminium, and high to extremely high magnesium content. Type of preparation : Thin section. Image by Andy Tindle (Virtual Microscope). Lithos, 30(3-4), 291-307. A few years after Mike O'Hara finished his work on the Scourie picritic intrusions (O'Hara, 1961), Naldrett & Mason (1968) published one of the first complete petrological descriptions of a komatiite. However, the initial flux of the most magnesian magmas is interpreted to form a channelised flow facie, which is envisioned as a fissure vent releasing highly fluid komatiitic lava onto the surface. Photomicrograph of a thin section of komatiite showing spinifex texture of pyroxene needle-like crystals A common and distinctive texture is known as spinifex texture and consists of long acicular phenocrysts of olivine (or pseudomorphs of alteration minerals after olivine) or pyroxene which give the rock a bladed appearance especially on a weathered surface. Komatiite is a type of ultramafic mantle-derived volcanic rock defined as having crystallized from a lava with ≥ 18 wt.% MgO. Active lavas had very thin flow fronts, perhaps only cm thick, and spread as very thin sheets and lobes (Cas et al., 1999). Rock Type: Plagioclase Websterite Location: Thin Section Description: Texture: Hypidiomorphic, all minerals are subhedral. Al-depleted komatiites have been modeled by melting experiments as being produced by high degrees of partial melting at high pressure where garnet in the source is not melted, whereas Al-undepleted komatiites are produced by high degrees of partial melts at lesser depth. This results in significant changes to the mineralogy and the texture. Actinolite, PPL Actinolite, Plane Polars. The mineralogy of a komatiite varies systematically through the typical stratigraphic section of a komatiite flow and reflects magmatic processes which komatiites are susceptible to during their eruption and cooling.  Komatiites probably form in extremely hot mantle plumes. XPL image, field of view = 2.5cm. Komatiites are rare, ultra-high-temperature (∼1,600 °C) lavas that were erupted in large volumes 3.5–1.5 bya but only very rarely since. The major komatiitic sequences preserved in Archaean rocks are thus considered to be lava tubes, ponds of lava etc., where the komatiitic lava accumulated. In fact, they form highly complicated, skele-tal megacrysts that are coarse-grained equivalents of the feathery dendritic or spherulitic grains interstitial to olivine in peridotitic komatiite lavas (Fleet, 1975). Modified from Lahaye, Y., & Arndt, N. (1996). Thin section of pillowed komatiite.  Harrisites are known to form megacrystal aggregates of pyroxene and olivine up to 1 metre in length. 2010. Main Menu: Thin Section page 1: Rare mineralogy in Thin Section . 1. Evidence for the existence of a mobile extrusive peridotitic magma from the Komati Formation of the Onvernacht Group. Thin syn-depositional komatiite sills that were intruded into unconsolidated sediment may have all of the above zones as well as sediment-matrix komatiite breccia (peperite) along the contacts. The matrix is ¢ner-comminuted ¢ne- 4.5.1. Geochemical analysis of five (5) rock samples taken from talc bodies outcropped from both sides of the Ifewara Shear Zone (ISZ) revealed magnesia (MgO) > 18% and Al 2O 3/TiO 2 values ~ 40. Another line of evidence is that the MgO content of olivines formed in komatiites is toward the nearly pure MgO forsterite composition, which can only be achieved in bulk by crystallisation of olivine from a highly magnesian melt. Section ES (Eastern Section: Alexo Mine) is the location of the stratigraphic column in Figure 46.3B. (2002) estimated 0.2-0.3 wt.% of H 2 O in the melt inclusions in olivine from Belingwe Greenstone Belt komatiites. Many komatiites are highly altered and serpentinized or carbonated from metamorphism and metasomatism. 1993. These images were taken from the thin section being offered. PPL image, field of view = 2.5cm. The usual cumulate mineralogy is highly magnesium rich forsterite olivine, though chromian pyroxene cumulates are also possible (though rarer). (Editors). 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