Clinopyroxene-enriched upper mantle xenoliths classified as wehrlites are common (~20% of all xenoliths) in the central part of the Nógrád-Gömör Volcanic Field (NGVF), situated in the northern margin of the Pannonian Basin in northern Hungary and southern Slovakia. In this study, we thoroughly investigated 12 wehrlite xenoliths, two from each wehrlite-bearing occurrence, to determine the conditions of their formation. Specific textural features, including clinopyroxene-rich patches in an olivine-rich lithology, orthopyroxene remnants in the cores of newly-formed clinopyroxenes and vermicular spinel forms all suggest that wehrlites were formed as a result of intensive interaction between a metasomatic agent and the peridotite wall rock. Based on the major and trace element geochemistry of the rock-forming minerals, significant enrichment in basaltic (Fe, Mn, Ti) and high field strength elements (Nb, Ta, Hf, Zr) was observed, compared to compositions of common lherzolite xenoliths. The presence of orthopyroxene remnants and geochemical trends in rock-forming minerals suggest that the metasomatic process ceased before complete wehrlitization was achieved. The composition of the metasomatic agent is interpreted to be a mafic silicate melt, which was further confirmed by numerical modelling of trace elements using the plate model. The model results also show that the melt/rock ratio played a key role in the degree of petrographic and geochemical transformation. The lack of equilibrium and the conclusions drawn by using variable lherzolitic precursors in the model both suggest that wehrlitization was the last event that occurred shortly before xenolith entrainment in the host mafic melt. We suggest that the wehrlitization and the Plio–Pleistocene basaltic volcanism are related to the same magmatic event.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)