The mineral chemistry of several Pliocene alkali basaltic rocks from Burgenland and Styria (Eastern Austria) have been investigated in order to determine the evolution path of the basalt magmas prior to eruption. With their wide range of substitutions, clinopyroxenes provide the best records of the evolution history of rocks. Pyroxene phenocrysts of the investigated basalts show both concentric and sector zoning. The investigation of sector zoned crystals shows, that not only Ti, Al and Fe contents are different in different sectors but there can be significant differences also in their Cr content. This fact apparently suggests that the distribution of Cr between clinopyroxene and melt could be influenced by crystallization kinetics. The depth of crystallization and differentiation of the basalts can be estimated from Ti and Al contents of clinopyroxene phenocrysts. From a combination of data on clinopyroxene composition, compatible trace element contents and mg-values of the rocks, it is concluded, that the alkali basalts of Pauliberg and Steinberg underwent slight olivine and clinopyroxene fractionation in shallow magma chambers prior to eruption, while the nephelinite of Stradnerkogel evolved mainly through clinopyroxene fractionation under high pressure conditions, probably in the upper mantle.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology