Both mantle-derived clinopyroxene and orthopyroxene are generally homogeneous in water concentration, while water content in the coexisting olivine is affected by partial or complete loss during the ascent of the hosting magma. Here, we report the first record of water content profiles (higher water in the cores than in the rims) in natural orthopyroxene grains in peridotite xenoliths hosted by Cenozoic alkali basalts in Tianchang volcano, eastern China. The water contents of the coexisting clinopyroxene grains are homogeneous and are twice that measured in the cores of orthopyroxene grains, confirming previous chemical equilibrium between the two pyroxenes. The olivines (ol) are nearly dry (∼0 ppm). These observations demonstrate that H diffusion in mantle orthopyroxene (opx) is faster than in clinopyroxene (cpx), and the relative mobility of H in each mineral phase could be quantified as: (where is the chemical diffusion coefficient of hydrogen). Combining this with experimental diffusion coefficients from the literature, we infer that (1) the xenoliths remained in contact with the magma below 900 °C for several months, and (2) clinopyroxene remains the more reliable recorder of water from depth, and orthopyroxene should be used more cautiously but can be considered with olivine for tracing slow transport and cooling of magma.
- Received 20 September 2016.
- Revision received 27 October 2016.
- Accepted 27 October 2016.
- © 2016 Geological Society of America