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2005
Khazan, Y, Fialko Y.  2005.  Why do kimberlites from different provinces have similar trace element patterns? Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 6   10.1029/2005gc000919   AbstractWebsite

Analysis of the trace element contents in kimberlites from various provinces around the world, including South Africa, India, and Yakutia ( Siberia, Russia), reveals remarkable similarity of the maximum abundances. In addition, we find that abundances of the rare earth elements ( REE) in the South African kimberlites are highly coherent between individual elements. We suggest that the observed similarity of the trace element patterns may result from a common physicochemical process operating in the kimberlite source region, rather than from peculiar source compositions and magmatic histories. The most likely candidates for such a process are ( 1) partial melting at very low melting degrees and ( 2) porous melt flow and diffusive exchange with the host rocks. These two processes can produce the same maximum trace element abundances and similar undersaturated patterns. We argue that the porous flow, and the associated chromatographic enrichment, is preferred because it allows high saturations at relatively large melt fractions of similar to 1%. Observations of enrichment of the xenolith grain rims due to an exchange with metasomatizing melts of quasi- kimberlitic composition imply that the melt percolated beyond the source region, in agreement with basic assumptions of the percolation model. We demonstrate that the saturated REE patterns are in a good agreement with the maximum observed REE abundances in kimberlites from different provinces. The theoretical patterns are independent of the melt fraction and only weakly ( if at all) depend on the source modal composition. Characteristic diverging fan- like patterns of trace elements predicted by the percolation model are identified in kimberlites from South Africa. We propose that a high coherency of the REE patterns in the South African kimberlites results from a general dependence of all REE abundances on the calcium content. According to this interpretation, the overall depletion of the source rocks in REE with temperature ( and depth) postulated by our model is a natural consequence of a decrease in the calcium content along the lherzolite trend.

1999
Fialko, YA, Rubin AM.  1999.  Thermal and mechanical aspects of magma emplacement in giant dike swarms. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 104:23033-23049.   10.1029/1999jb900213   AbstractWebsite

We consider the thermal history and dynamics of magma emplacement in giant feeder dikes associated with continental flood basalts. For driving pressure gradients inferred for giant dike swarms, thicknesses of <10 m would enable dikes to transport magma laterally over the distances observed in the field (up to thousands of kilometers) without suffering thermal lock-up. Using time-dependent numerical solutions for the thermal evolution of a dike channel under laminar and turbulent flow conditions in the presence of phase transitions, we investigate the possibility that the observed dike thicknesses (of the order of 100 m) result from thermal erosion of the country rocks during dike emplacement. This implies that the observed range of dike widths in giant dike swarms may reflect variations in the source volume and not the excess magma pressure. It is found that the total volume of intruded magma required to produce an order of magnitude increase in dike width via wall rock melting broadly agrees with the estimated volumes of individual flows in continental flood basalts. The presence of chilled margins and apparently low crustal contamination characteristics of some giant dikes may be consistent with turbulent magma flow and extensive melt back during dike emplacement. In this case, measurements of the anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility most likely indicate magma flow directions during the final stages of dike intrusion. Shear stresses generated at the dike wall when the dike starts to freeze strongly decrease with increasing dike width, which implies that thicker dikes may have less tendency to produce consistent fabric alignment. Our results suggest that if the dike was propagating downslope off a plume-related topographic swell, the mechanism responsible for flow termination could possibly have been related to underpressurization and collapse (implosion) of the shallow magma plumbing system feeding the intrusion. Radial dikes that erupted at the periphery of the topographic uplift might have increased (rather than decreased) extensional stresses in the crust within the topographic uplift upon their solidification.