The water content of olivines from the North Atlantic Volcanic Province

Bjørn Jamtveit, Richard Brooker, Kent Brooks, Lotte Melchior Larsen, Tom Pedersen

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83 Citations (Scopus)


The water content of olivine crystals from picrites and basalts from the North Atlantic Volcanic Province has been estimated using non-polarised Fourier transform infrared spectra. H2O concentrations vary from about 18 ppm by weight to below the detection limit of ca. 0.5 ppm. The most H2O-poor olivines (≤ 0.5 ppm H2O) probably reflect olivine crystallisation or re-equilibration at shallow crustal levels, possibly after magma degassing. However, some of the Mg-rich olivines (Fo87-91.5) have elevated H2O contents (3-7 ppm) and indicate the presence of mantle source regions with > 300 ppm H2O for any reasonable crystallisation depth. The elevated H2O content may be sufficiently high to significantly affect the mantle viscosity and melting behaviour and thus contribute to the simultaneous production of melt over a vast area from Baffin Island to the British Isles at 58-62 Ma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-415
Number of pages15
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2001


  • FTIR
  • North Atlantic Volcanic Province
  • Olivine
  • Water content

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 4: Mineral Resources


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