Komatiites erupted billions of years ago as pulsating streams of white-hot lava. Their unusual chemical compositions and exceptionally high formation temperatures produced highly fluid lava that crystallized as spectacular layered flows. Investigation of the extreme conditions in which komatiites formed provides important evidence about the thermal and chemical evolution of the planet, and the nature of the Precambrian mantle. This monograph, written by three experts with long experience in the field, presents a complete account of the characteristics of komatiites including their volcanic structures, textures, mineralogy and chemical compositions. Models for their formation and eruption are evaluated (including the anhydrous vs. hydrous magmas controversy). A chapter is also devoted to the valuable nickel and copper ore deposits found in komatiites. Komatiite is a key reference for researchers and advanced students interested in petrology, Archaean geology, economic geology, and broader questions about the evolution of the Earth's crust and mantle.
Nicholas Arndt was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in Canada in 1975. Following academic positions in the United States, Canada and Germany and at the Universite de Rennes, France, he moved in 1999 to the Universite de Grenoble where he is Professor of Petrology-Geochemistry. Professor Arndt's research interests include petrology and geochemistry of mafic and ultramafic rocks, magmatic ore deposits, and the early-Earth environment. He is Director of the European Science Foundation 'Archean Environment: the Habitat of Early Life' program and a founding editor of eEarth, an online journal of the European Geosciences Union. Michael Lesher is Professor of Economic Geology and Research Chair in the Mineral Exploration Research Centre and Department of Earth Sciencesat Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. He works on the petrogenesis and physical volcanology of komatiites and associated magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE deposits. Steve Barnes is a research scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Perth, Australia. He also works on the petrogenesis and physical volcanology of komatiites and associated magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE deposits.
Foreword; Part I. Background Information - Description of the Field Characteristics, Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Komatiites: 1. A brief history of komatiite studies and a discussion of komatiite nomenclature; 2. Brief descriptions of six classic komatiite occurrences; 3. Field characteristics, textures and structures; 4. Mineralogy; 5. Geochemistry; 6. Isotopic compositions of komatiites; 7. Experimental petrology; 8. Physical properties of komatiites; Part II. Interpretation - The Manner of Emplacement, the Origin, and the Tectonic Setting of Komatiites: 9. Physical volcanology; 10. Komatiite-associated Ni-Cu-PGE deposits; 11. The hydrous komatiite hypothesis; 12. Compositions and eruption temperatures of komatiitic liquids; 13. Petrogenesis of komatiite; 14. Geodynamic setting; References; Index.
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- ID: 9780521874748
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