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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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 488 pages
  • 180 x 253 x 27mm | 1,100g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 29 Tables, unspecified; 4 Plates, color; 94 Halftones, unspecified
  • 0521874742
  • 9780521874748
  • 1,081,673

Table of contents

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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Review quote

'... highly readable and informative. Arndt occasionally allows a wry sense of humour to show through, which only makes the reading more enjoyable. ... Arndt notes in the preface that he has attempted to provide a comprehensive account of komatiites while also producing a work that is brief and readable. He has succeeded. Komatiite deserves to be in the library of every university with a geology department and of any company working in Archean terranes.' Derek A. Wyman, University of Sydney, Australia 'This book ... will be critical for field and experimental petrologists and mining geologists and geophysicists. In this regard I highly recommend Komatiite.' The Leading Edge '... this is a superb book. For decades to come, it will be the definitive work on these important rocks. Any department that teaches senior courses in igneous petrology must make certain this is in the library. This text will become part of the furniture of all decent undergraduate- and graduate-level programs in petrology. ... I hope Cambridge University Press keep Arndt's 2008 Komatiite in print for decades to come, so that future librarians can simply buy a new copy when the old one falls apart: this is a classic.' The Canadian Mineralogist 'The handsome book that Nicholas Arndt dedicated to komatiites is particularly welcome because it fills a gap in the scientific literature. ... The structure of the book is very clear. ... Komatiite will no doubt occupy a place in the libraries of laboratories ... and become a bedside book of a new generation of students for the decades to come.' Geochronique '... describes komatiites and their geological settings in considerable detail; all komatiites that have ever been found and described to date appear to be included. ... well illustrated ...' Geological Magazine '...amply illustrated...huge amount of information..." - Tony Nikischer, Mineral News '...will be critical for field and experimental petrologists and mining geologists and geophysicists. In this regard I highly recommend Komatiite.' - Patrick Taylor, The Leading Edge '...an impressive, comprehensive, timely volume ... This extremely valuable contribution to the petrologic literature should be in the libraries of researchers involved/interested in ultramafic rocks, Cu-Ni-PGE deposits, Archaean geology, and/or magma genesis in the early stages of Earth's evolution. Abundant excellent informative figures/tables, an extremely comprehensive, up-to-date list of references, and a general subject index. Essential." - CHOICE "Why is this book so good? First, it's good because it provides a very comprehensive introduction to an extremely interesting and economically important part of igneous petrology. ... Secondly, and what makes it fun to read, it's good because it does not duck the controversies ... Thirdly, it's well-written. There are lively asides, dry humour and honest comment ... this seems to me to be THE definitive work on komatiites." The Canadian Mineralogist.
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About Nicholas Arndt

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 C. Lesher is Professor of Economic Geology and Research Chair in the Mineral Exploration Research Centre and Department of Earth Sciences at Laurentian University, Ontario. He works on the petrogenesis and physical volcanology of komatiites and associated magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE deposits. Steve J. Barnes is a research scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Perth, Australia. He also works on the petrogenesis and physical volcanology of komatiites and associated magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE deposits.
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