Plagioclase-facies thermobarometric evolution of the External Liguride pyroxenite-bearing mantle (Suvero, Italy)


  • Valentin Basch
  • Giulio Borghini
  • Patrizia Fumagalli
  • Elisabetta Rampone
  • Carlotta Ferrando
  • Andrea Gandolfo



pyroxenites, plagioclase peridotite, veined mantle exhumation, geobarometer, extending lithosphere, Suvero, Northern Apennines, Italy.


Plagioclase peridotites are an important marker of the shallow geodynamic evolution of the lithospheric mantle at extensional settings. Based on low-pressure experiments, a recent study by  Fumagalli et al. (2017) defined and calibrated a geobarometer for peridotitic bulk compositions, based on the Forsterite–Anorthite–Ca-Tschermak–Enstatite (FACE) pressure-sensitive equilibrium. The Suvero plagioclase-bearing peridotites, on which the FACE geobarometer was calibrated, are  primarily associated to plagioclase pyroxenites. Assuming that the pyroxenites record the same Pressure-Temperature evolution than the plagioclase peridotites, they represent ideal candidates to test the applicability of the FACE geobarometer on pyroxenitic compositions. As documented in the plagioclase peridotites, the pyroxenites are characterized by the development of fine-grained  neoblastic assemblages, indicative of partial recrystallization under plagioclase-facies conditions.  Chemical zonations in these neoblastic mineral aggregates suggest equilibration stages at variable  pressure and temperature and allowed to document two re-equilibration stages corresponding to the  onset of plagioclase-facies recrystallization (830-850°C, 6.9-8.1 ± 0.5 kbar) and a shallower colder  re-equilibration (770-790°C, 5.8-5.9 ± 0.5 kbar), respectively. The decompressional evolution  reported for pyroxenitic bulk compositions is consistent with the exhumation history documented in  the associated Suvero peridotite, although at slightly higher equilibrium pressures (~ 1 kbar).  Remarkably, the much lower XCr in pyroxenites reflects in lower Cr incorporation in pyroxenes and,  consequently, in significantly higher Ca-Tschermak activity in clinopyroxene that might introduce  the systematic pressure overestimation by FACE geobarometer

First published online: 24 November 2019




How to Cite

Basch, V., Borghini, G., Fumagalli, P., Rampone, E., Ferrando, C., & Gandolfo, A. (2019). Plagioclase-facies thermobarometric evolution of the External Liguride pyroxenite-bearing mantle (Suvero, Italy). Ofioliti, 45(1), 1-11.