Melilite-olivine neрhelinites of Mt. Tabaat (Makhtesh Ramon, Israel): Geological, petrographic and geochemical characteristics and conditions of genesis

Zinovi A. Yudalevich, Yevgeny A. Vapnik, Maria D. Vishnyakova, Nadezhda S. Borodina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research subject. The melilite-olivine nephelinite subvolcanic body Tabaat, which includes melilite rocks found for the first time on the territory of Levant. Materials and methods. The chemical composition of minerals (about 400 analyzes) was determined out on a CAMECA SX-100 microanalyzer equipped with five wave spectrometers with crystal analyz-ers TAP, LPET and LLIF. The elemental composition was measured at an accelerating voltage of 15 kV, an electron beam current of 40 nA. The oxygen concentration was calculated from the condition of stoichiometric composition of silicate minerals and chromite. In addition, the results of earlier studies of minerals (150 analyses) and data on melt inclusions were used. Results. The Tabaat subvolcanic body, which is part of the Early Cretaceous olivine-basalt-basanite-nephelin-ite association Makhtesh Ramona (Negev, Israel), has a complex concentrically-zonal structure, with olivine melaneph-elinites in the peripheral zone, melilite-olivine melanephelinites in the central and connecting zones normative and, less often, melilite-containing melanephelinites. Prismatic separation is widely manifested in the rocks. The fold-like bend-ing and concave-curved edges of the prisms are a reflection of the plastic state of the cooling body and its ability to com-press and accommodate a high fluid pressure, which develops during the formation of melilite nephelinites. Conclusion. All mineral diversity of rocks of the Mt. Tabaat is a derivative of a single portion of magmatic melt under conditions of its adiabatic cooling at the place of stabilization. A special role in the course of crystallization of the massif belongs to minerals with a high water content – analcime, zeolites, iddingsites, bowlingites and saponite-celadonites, which indicate the deuteric stage of its development. The study of melt inclusions in olivine and clinopyroxene showed the continuity of their composition with the composition of host melilite nephelinites and the importance of incongruent melting during the formation of melilite, which is a product of the reaction of nepheline with olivine or clinopyroxene.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)323-348
Number of pages26
JournalLithosphere (Russian Federation)
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Israel
  • Makhtesh Ramon
  • Melilite nephelinites

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Stratigraphy


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