465 pages, 4 colour plates, 94 b/w photos, 72 b/w illustrations, 29 tables
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.
"[...] 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 Nick 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."
"[...] 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
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
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
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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 Lesher is Professor of Economic Geology and Research Chair in the Mineral Exploration Research Centre and Department of Earth Sciencesat Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. He works on the petrogenesis and physical volcanology of komatiites and associated magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE deposits.
Steve Barnes is a research scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Perth, Australia. He also works on the petrogenesis and physical volcanology of komatiites and associated magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE deposits.