Mongelli, Giovanni and Paternoster, Michele and Rizzo, Giovanna and Cristi Sansone, Maria Teresa and Sinisi, Rosa (2013) Trace element geochemistry of the Mt Vulture carbonatites, southern Italy. International geology review, Vol. 55 (12), p. 1541-1552. ISSN 0020-6814. eISSN 1938-2839. Article.
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The Mt Vulture carbonatites are the only carbonatite occurrence in the southern Apennines. We present new trace element data for these rocks in order to evaluate the factors influencing rare earth element (REE) and other trace element fractionations and their REE grade. This study focuses on massive hyalo-alvikites from two lava flows and one dike, which have different relative abundances of silicate and carbonate (i.e. Si/Ca). These differences are also evident from CaO/(CaO + MgO + FeO(T) + MnO) and Sr/Ba ratios. The REE grade of the Mt Vulture carbonatites is very similar to that of the global average for calcio-carbonatites. R-mode factor analysis shows that most of the trace element variance reflects the relative roles of carbonate and silicate minerals in influencing trace element distributions. Silicates largely control heavy rare earth element (HREE), transition metal, Zr, and Th abundances, whereas carbonate minerals control light rare earth element (LREE), Ba, and Pb abundances. In addition, apatite influences LREE concentrations. Increasing silica contents are accompanied by decreases in (La/Yb)N and (La/Sm)N ratios and less marked LREE enrichment. In contrast, higher carbonate contents are associated with increases in (La/Yb)N and (La/Sm)N. The Si/Ca ratio has little influence on Eu anomalies and middle rare earth element (MREE) to HREE fractionations. Apatite has a negligible effect on inter-REE fractionations amongst the carbonatites.
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