Garnet-bearing xenoliths from Letseng-la-Terae display a range of textures from coarse to granuloblastic. Equilibration temperatures and pressures of primary phases are in the ranges 950-1400°C and 27-50 kb, respectively. Deformed lherzolites equilibrated throughout this temperature range but coarse xenoliths are restricted to low temperature equilibration.
All garnets display coronas developed during the reaction:
In some rocks, reaction has completely eliminated garnet.
In rocks where garnet is disrupted, the corona minerals are strung out in the fluidal texture indicating that reaction occurred before deformation. Rocks transitional to, and of granuloblastic texture, contain garnet and aluminous spinel; in addition ‘pools’ of minerals originating by dynamic separation of corona fragments are observed.
Chemical comparison between the corona minerals and minerals in a garnet-spinel rock and two spinel granuloblastites, suggests that these spinel-bearing rocks may be derived from normal garnet peridotite by a complex sequence of reaction, followed by deformation, annealing and chemical homogenisation. The conclusion that reaction and deformation took place at high levels in the upper mantle is contrary to some earlier hypotheses of shearing within the low velocity zone in response to continental plate movement, but is consistent with mantle diapir models.