Professor Greg Yaxley

PhD
Professor of Experimental Petrology
Head of the Geochemistry Research Area
  • 1993-1996 Postdoctoral Fellow in Experimental Petrology at RSES, ANU
  • 1997-1999: ARC Postdoctoral Fellow in Experimental Petrology at RSES, ANU
  • 1999: Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, Institute of Mineralogy, Frankfurt University
  • 2001-2009: Research Fellow in PRISE, RSES, ANU
  • 2010-2013: ARC Future Fellow in Earth Materials and Processes group, RSES, ANU
  • 2014-present: Professor in Experimental Petrology, RSES, ANU

Research interests

Back-scattered electron image of a sample produced in the multi-anvil press at RSES at 13 GPa and 1250°C. The lower part is quenched alkali-rich carbonatite melt (the bright phase is a mixture of ReO2 and Re metal, which maintains the oxygen state at high levels to prevent reduction of the carbonate to diamond). The upper 2/3 of the sample is majoritic garnet (bright phase), omphacitic clinopyroxene (mid-grey) and stishovite (dark grey). The black patches are holes in the polished sample surface. The image was obtained using a Hitachi FE-SEM in the Centre for Advanced Microscopy at ANU.

The Earth's Deep Carbon Cycle

The carbon cycle between various reservoirs in the Earths’ exosphere (atmosphere-hydrosphere-biosphere) exerts a critical control on climate on a range of time scales which are short relative to the age of the earth. However, the earth has a much deep carbon cycle, whereby carbon is recycled from exosphere into the deep mantle via subduction and returned to the exosphere during volcanism, on much longer time scales of millions or billions of years.

My colleagues, students and I are investigating this deep carbon cycle using a range of techniques, including high pressure experimental petrology using multi-anvil and piston-cylinder apparatuses, with sophisticated microbeam imaging and analysis of experimental run products. We are interested in the stability and melting temperatures of carbonate phases during deep subduction at pressures relevant to the sub-arc environment (≤ 6GPa), down to the uppermost part of the lower mantle (≤23 GPa).

As an example, the back-scattered electron image shows a multi-anvil experiment conducted at 13 GPa and 1250°C on an average mid-ocean ridge basaltic composition with a few wt% CaCO3 added. This is simulating deep subduction of altered, mafic oceanic crust, which commonly contains a small amount of calcite, added during hydrothermal alteration of the crust. Under these conditions, the sample has crystallized an assemblage of majoritic garnet + omphacitic clinopyroxene + stishovite, with a carbonatitic partial melt. This indicates that along relatively warm subduction geotherms, deeply subducted carbonate-bearing oceanic crust could produce carbonatitic melts in the deep upper mantle. The effects of these when they segregate from the subducting crust and move into overlying peridotite are currently being experimentally investigated.

Of great importance is the influence of oxygen fugacity on carbon’s behaviour under these P-T conditions. We have developed and applied a synchrotron-based method (Fe K-edge XANES) for determination of the Fe3+ content of mantle garnets in kimberlite-bourne peridotites (Berry et al. 2010; Yaxley et al. 2012; Hanger et al. 2014) and eclogites. This enables determination of the mantle oxygen fugacity in the cratonic lithosphere and deeply subducting oceanic crust, and investigation of its effects on diamond stability, partial melting and metasomatism.

 

 

Groups

  • Nambaje, C, Yaxley, G, Eggins, S et al. 2020, 'Micro-characterisation of cassiterite by geology, texture and zonation: A case study of the Karagwe Ankole Belt, Rwanda', Ore Geology Reviews, vol. 124.
  • Matjuschkin, V, Woodland, A & Yaxley, G 2019, 'Methane-bearing fluids in the upper mantle: an experimental approach', Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, vol. 174, no. 1, pp. 1-14.
  • Duan, X, Fan, H, Zhang, H et al 2019, 'Melt inclusions in phenocrysts track enriched upper mantle source for Cenozoic Tengchong volcanic field, Yunnan Province, SW China', Lithos, vol. 324, no. -, pp. 180-201.
  • Nebel, O, Sossi, P, Benard, A et al 2019, 'Reconciling petrological and isotopic mixing mechanisms in the Pitcairn mantle plume using stable Fe isotopes', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 521, pp. 60-67.
  • Foley, S, Yaxley, G & Kjarsgaard, B 2019, 'Kimberlites from Source to Surface: Insights from Experiments', Elements, vol. 15, no. 6, pp. 393-398.
  • Jollands, M, Hanger, B, Yaxley, G et al 2018, 'Timescales between mantle metasomatism and kimberlite ascent indicated by diffusion profiles in garnet crystals from peridotite xenoliths', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 481, pp. 143-153pp.
  • Golovin, A, Sharygin, I, Kamenetsky, V et al 2018, 'Alkali-carbonate melts from the base of cratonic lithospheric mantle: Links to kimberlites', Chemical Geology, vol. 483, pp. 261-274.
  • Sieber, M, Hermann, J & Yaxley, G 2018, 'An experimental investigation of C-O-H fluid-driven carbonation of serpentinites under forearc conditions', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 496, pp. 178-188pp.
  • Jaques, AL, Luguet, A, Smith, CB, Pearson, DG, Yaxley, GM & Kobussen, AF 2018, 'Nature of the Mantle Beneath the Argyle AK1 Lamproite Pipe: Constraints from Mantle Xenoliths, Diamonds, and Lamproite Geochemistry', in A.T. Davy, C.B. Smith, H. Helmstaedt, A.L. Jaques, J.J. Gurney (ed.), Geoscience and Exploration of the Argyle, Bunder, Diavik, and Murowa Diamond Deposits, Society of Economic Geologists, USA, pp. 119-143.
  • Rosenthal, A., Yaxley, G.M., Green, D.H., Crichton, W.A., Kovacs, I., Spandler, C., Hermann, J., Sandorne, J.K., Rose-Koga, E., Pelleter, A.-A. (2018). Phase relations and melting of nominally ‘dry’ residual eclogites with variable CaO/Na2O from 3 to 5 GPa and 1250 to 1500°C; implications for refertilisation of upwelling heterogeneous mantle. Lithos 314-315, 506-519. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lithos.2018.05.025
  • Rielli, A, Tomkins, A, Nebel, O et al 2017, 'Evidence of sub-arc mantle oxidation by sulphur and carbon', Geochemical Perspectives Letters, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 124-132.
  • Giuliani, A, Tappe, S, Rooney, T et al 2017, 'Editorial: The role of intraplate magmas and their inclusions in Earth's mantle evolution', Chemical Geology, vol. 455, pp. 1-5pp.
  • Kamenetsky, V, Maas, R, Kamenetsky, M et al 2017, 'Multiple mantle sources of continental magmatism: Insights from "high-Ti" picrites of Karoo and other large igneous provinces', Chemical Geology, vol. 455, pp. 22-31.
  • Kiseeva, E, Kamenetsky, V, Yaxley, G et al 2017, 'Mantle melting versus mantle metasomatism - The chicken or the egg dilemma', Chemical Geology, vol. 455, pp. 120-130pp.
  • Yaxley, G, Berry, A, Rosenthal, A et al 2017, 'Redox preconditioning deep cratonic lithosphere for kimberlite genesis - evidence from the central Slave Craton', Scientific Reports, vol. 7, no. 30, pp. 1-10pp.
  • Jones, T, Davies, R, Campbell, I et al. 2017, 'The concurrent emergence and causes of double volcanic hotspot tracks on the Pacific plate', Nature, vol. 545, no. 7655, pp. 472-476pp.
  • Jones, T, Davies, R, Campbell, I et al. 2017, 'The concurrent emergence and causes of double volcanic hotspot tracks on the Pacific plate', Nature, vol. 545, no. 7655, pp. 472-476pp.
  • Spandler, C, Hammerli, J & Yaxley, G 2017, 'An experimental study of trace element distribution during partial melting of mantle heterogeneities', Chemical Geology, vol. 462, pp. 74-87pp.
  • Yaxley, G.M., Berry, A.J., Rosenthal, A., Woodland, A.B., Paterson, D. (2017). Redox preconditioning deep cratonic lithosphere for kimberlite genesis – evidence from the central Slave Craton. Scientific Reports 7, 30.
    https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-00049-3
  • White, L, Graham, I, Tanner, D et al 2016, 'The provenance of Borneo's enigmatic alluvial diamonds: A case study from Cempaka, SE Kalimantan', Gondwana Research, vol. 38, no. -, pp. 251-272.
  • Sutherland, L, Graham, I, Yaxley, G et al 2016, 'Major zircon megacryst suites of the Indo-Pacific lithospheric margin (ZIP) and their petrogenetic and regional implications', Mineralogy and Petrology, vol. 110, no. 2-3, pp. 399-420.
  • Hanger, B, Yaxley, G, Berry, A et al. 2015, 'Relationships between oxygen fugacity and metasomatism in the Kaapvaal subcratonic mantle, represented by garnet peridotite xenoliths in the Wesselton kimberlite, South Africa', Lithos, vol. 212, pp. 443-452.
  • Kamenetsky, V & Yaxley, G 2015, 'Carbonate-silicate liquid immiscibility in the mantle propels kimberlite magma ascent', Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, vol. 158, pp. 48-56.
  • Kamenetsky, V, Park, J, Mungall, J et al 2015, 'Crystallization of platinum-group minerals from silicate melts: Evidence from Cr-spinel-hosted inclusions in volcanic rocks', Geology, vol. 43, no. 10, pp. 903-906.
  • Hollis, J, Carson, C, Glass, L et al 2014, 'Detrital zircon U-Pb-Hf and O isotope character of the Cahill Formation and Nourlangie Schist, Pine Creek Orogen: Implications for the tectonic correlation and evolution of the North Australian Craton', Precambrian Research, vol. 246, pp. 35-53.
  • Nebel, O, Rapp, R & Yaxley, G 2014, 'The role of detrital zircons in Hadean crustal research', Lithos, vol. 190, pp. 313-327.
  • Green, D.H., Hibberson, W.O., Rosenthal, A., Kovács, I., Yaxley, G.M., Falloon, T., Brink, F. (2014). Experimental Study of the Influence of Water on Melting and Phase Assemblages in the Upper Mantle. Journal of Petrology 55, 10, 2067-2096.
    https://doi.org/10.1093/petrology/egu050
  • Rosenthal, A., Yaxley, G.M., Green, D.H., Hermann, J., Kovacs, I., Spandler, C. (2014). Continuous eclogite melting and variable refertilisation in upwelling heterogeneous mantle. Scientific Reports 4, 6099. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep06099
  • Berry, A, Yaxley, G, Hanger, B et al 2013, 'Quantitative mapping of the oxidative effects of mantle metasomatism', Geology, vol. 41, no. 6, pp. 683-686.
  • Litasov, K, Shatskiy, A, Ohtani, E et al 2013, 'Solidus of alkaline carbonatite in the deep mantle', Geology, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 79-82.
  • Jenner, F, Bennett, V, Yaxley, G et al 2013, 'Eoarchean within-plate basalts from southwest Greenland', Geology, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 327-330.
  • Kiseeva, E, Konstantin, L, Yaxley, G et al 2013, 'Melting and Phase Relations of Carbonated Eclogite at 9-21 GPa and the Petrogenesis of Alkali-Rich Melts in the Deep Mantle', Journal of Petrology, vol. 54, no. 8, pp. 1555-1583.
  • Berry, A, Yaxley, G, Hanger, B et al 2013, 'Quantitative mapping of the oxidative effects of mantle metasomatism', Geology, vol. 41, no. 6, pp. 683-686.
  • Kiseeva, E, Yaxley, G, Stepanov, A et al 2013, 'Metapyroxenite in the mantle transition zone revealed from majorite inclusions in diamonds', Geology, vol. 41, no. 8, pp. 883-886.
  • Yaxley, G.M., Kamenetsky, V.S., Nichols, F.T., Maas, R., Belousova, E., Rosenthal, A., Norman, A. (2013). The discovery of kimberlites in Antarctica extends the vast Gondwanan Cretaceous province. Nature Communications 4, 2921. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms3921
  • Yaxley, G, Berry, A, Kamenetsky, V et al 2012, 'An oxygen fugacity profile through the Siberian Craton - Fe K-edge XANES determinations of Fe3+∑Fe in garnets in peridotite xenoliths from the Udachnaya East kimberlite', Lithos, vol. 140, pp. 142-151.
  • Yaxley, G, Berry, A, Kamenetsky, V et al 2012, 'An oxygen fugacity profile through the Siberian Craton - Fe K-edge XANES determinations of Fe3+∑Fe in garnets in peridotite xenoliths from the Udachnaya East kimberlite', Lithos, vol. 140, pp. 142-151pp.
  • Grew ES, Carson CJ, Christy AG, Maas R, Yaxley GM, Boger SD, Fanning CM, 2012 New constraints from U-Pb, Lu-Hf and Sm-Nd isotopic data on the timing of sedimentation and felsic magmatism in the Larsemann Hills, Prydz Bay, East Antarctica. Precambrian Research vol 206-207, pp 87-108.
  • Kiseeva, E.S., Yaxley, G.M., Hermann, J., Litasov, K., Rosenthal, A., Kamenetsky, V. (2012). An Experimental Study of Carbonated Eclogite at 3.5-5.5 GPa – Implications for Silicate and Carbonate Metasomatism in the Cratonic Mantle. Journal of Petrology 53, 4, 727-759. https://doi.org/10.1093/petrology/egr078
  • Fanning, C, Herve, F, Pankhurst, R et al 2011, 'Lu-Hf isotope evidence for the provenance of Permian detritus in accretionary complexes of western Patagonia and the northern Antarctic Peninsula region', Journal of South American Earth Sciences, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 485-496.
  • Berry, A, Yaxley, G, Woodland, A et al 2010, 'A XANES calibration for determining the oxidation state of iron in mantle garnet', Chemical Geology, vol. 278, no. 1-2, pp. 31-37.
  • Foley, SF, Yaxley, GM, Rosenthal, A, Buhre, S, Kiseeva, ES, Rapp, RP, Jacob, DE 2009, 'The composition of near-solidus melts of peridotite in the presence of CO2 and H2O between 40 and 60 kbar', Lithos, vol. 112, pp. 274-283.
  • Spandler, C, Yaxley, G, Green, D et al 2010, 'Experimental phase and melting relations of metapelite in the upper mantle: implications for the petrogenesis of intraplate magmas', Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, vol. 160, no. 4, pp. 569-589.
  • Rapp, R, Norman, M, Laporte, D et al 2010, 'Continent Formation in the Archean and Chemical Evolution of the Cratonic Lithosphere: Melt-Rock Reaction Experiments at 3-4 GPa and Petrogenesis of Archean Mg-Diorites (Sanukitoids)', Journal of Petrology, vol. 51, no. 6, pp. 1237-1266.
  • Berry, A, Yaxley, G, Woodland, A et al 2010, 'A XANES calibration for determining the oxidation state of iron in mantle garnet', Chemical Geology, vol. 278, no. 1-2, pp. 31-37.
  • Jenner, F, Bennett, V, Nutman, A et al 2009, 'Evidence for subduction at 3.8 Ga: Geochemistry of arc-like metabasalts from the southern edge of the Isua Supracrustal Belt', Chemical Geology, vol. 261, no. 1-2, pp. 82-97.
  • Handler, M, Baker, J, Schiller, M et al 2009, 'Magnesium stable isotope composition of Earth's upper mantle', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 282, pp. 306-313.
  • Campbell, G, Curran, J, Miskelly, G et al 2009, 'Compositional data analysis for elemental data in forensic science', Forensic Science International, vol. 188, pp. 81-90.
  • Morton, A, Hitchen, K, Fanning, C et al 2009, 'Detrital zircon age constraints on the provenance of sandstones on Hatton Bank and Edoras Bank, NE Atlantic', Journal of the Geological Society, vol. 166, pp. 137-146.
  • Yaxley, G & Brey, G 2008, 'Foreword: The roles of Petrology and Experimental Petrology in understanding global tectonics', Journal of Petrology, vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 587-589.
  • Munizaga, F, Maksaev, V, Fanning, C et al 2008, 'Late Paleozoic-Early Triassic magmatism on the western margin of Gondwana: Collahuasi area, Northern Chile', Gondwana Research, vol. 13, pp. 407-427.
  • Suda, Y, Kawano, Y, Yaxley, G et al 2008, 'Magmatic evolution and tectonic setting of metabasites from Lützow-Holm Complex, East Antarctica', Geological Society of London Special Publication, vol. 308, pp. 211-233.
  • Stroup, C, Link, P, Janecke, S et al 2008, 'Eocene to Oligocene provenance and drainage in extensional basins of southwest Montana and east-central Idaho: Evidence from detrital zircon populations in the Renova Formation and equivalent strata', Arizona Geological Society Digest, vol. 22, pp. 529-546.
  • Rapp, R.P., Irifune, T., Shimizu, N., Nishiyama, N., Norman, M., and T. Inoue (2008). Subduction recycling of continental sediments and the origin of geochemically enriched reservoirs in the deep mantle. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 271, 14-23. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2008.02.028
  • Spandler, C, Yaxley, G.M., Green, D.H., Rosenthal, A. (2008). Phase relations and melting of anhydrous K-bearing eclogite from 1200 to 1600ºC, 3 to 5 GPa. Journal of Petrology 49, 4, 771-795. https://doi.org/10.1093/petrology/egm039
  • Herve, F, Pankhurst, R, Fanning, C et al 2007, 'The South Patagonian batholith: 150 my of granite magmatism on a plate margin', Lithos, vol. 97, no. 3-4, pp. 373-394.
  • Yaxley, G & Sobolev, A 2007, 'High-pressure partial melting of gabbro and its role in the Hawaiian magma source', Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, vol. 154, pp. 371-383.
  • Sobolev, A, Hofmann, A, Kuzmin, D et al. 2007, 'The amount of Recycled Crust in Sources of Mantle-Derived Melts', Science, vol. 316, no. 5823, pp. 412-417.
  • Morton, A & Yaxley, G 2007, 'Detrital apatite geochemistry and its application in provenance studies', in Jose Arribas, Mark Johnsson & Salvatore Critelli (ed.), Sedimentary Provenance and Petrogenesis: Perspectives from Petrography and Geochemistry, Geological Society of America Inc, Boulder USA, pp. 319-344.
  • Norman, M, Yaxley, G, Bennett, V et al 2006, 'Magnesium isotopic composition of olivine from the Earth, Mars, Moon, and pallasite parent body', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 33, pp. L15202.
  • Norman, M, McCulloch, M, O'Neill, H et al 2006, 'Magnesium isotopic analysis of olivine by laser-ablation multi-collector ICP-MS: composition dependent matrix effects and a comparison of the Earth and Moon', Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, vol. 21, pp. 50-54.
  • Woodland, A, Seitz, H & Yaxley, G 2004, 'Varying behaviour of Li in metasomatised spinel peridotite xenoliths from western Victoria, Australia', Lithos, vol. 75, pp. 55-66.
  • Yaxley, G & Brey, G 2004, 'Phase relations of carbonate-bearing eclogite assemblages from 2.5 to 5.5 GPa: implications for petrogenesis of carbonatites', Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, vol. 146, pp. 606-619.
  • Yaxley, G, Kamenetsky, V, Kaminska, M et al 2004, 'Origins of compositional heterogeneity in olivine-hosted melt inclusions from the Baffin Island picrites', Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, vol. 148, pp. 426-442.
  • Green, D, Falloon, T, Eggins, S et al 2001, 'Primary magmas and mantle temperatures', European Journal of Mineralogy, vol. 13, pp. 437-451.
  • Matsumoto, T, Honda, M, McDougall, I et al 2000, 'Noble gases in pyroxenites and metasomatised peridotites from the Newer Volcanics, southeastern Australia: implications for mantle metasomatism', Chemical Geology, vol. 168, no. 1-2, pp. 49-73.
  • Yaxley, G 2000, 'Experimental study of the phase and melting relations of homogeneous basalt + peridotite mixtures and implications for the petrogenesis of flood basalts', Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, vol. 139, pp. 326-338.
  • Green, T, Blundy, J, Adam, J et al 2000, 'SIMS determination of trace element partition coefficients between garnet, clinopyroxene and hydrous basaltic liquids at 2-7.5 GPa and 1080-1200 degrees C.', Lithos, vol. 53, no. 3-4, pp. 165-187.
  • Yaxley, G & Kamenetsky, V 1999, 'In situ origin for glass in mantle xenoliths from southeastern Australia: insights from trace element compositions of glasses and metasomatic phases', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 172, pp. 97-109.