Abstract: The significance of metastable and equilibrium pyroxene fractionation trends in tholeiitic magmas is discussed, and the development of sector zoning and skeletal growth are considered in relation to Nakamura's (1973) hypothesis of protosites on growing clinopyroxene crystal surfaces. At the Galapagos Spreading Centre (GSC) basalts and ferrobasalts investigated behave paradoxically in that the slower-cooled basalts follow the quench trend while the faster-cooled ferrobasalts define a much closer approach to the equilibrium trend.
It is concluded that under metastable conditions fractionation trends in Ca-rich pyroxenes may be strongly influenced by textural features such as cotectic crystallization of plagioclase and the onset of liquid immiscibility, the latter leading to the development of strongly Feenriched ferroaugites. Even under plutonic conditions metastable crystallization can develop and severely reduce the pyroxene miscibility gap. A model for metastable crystallization is presented. These considerations are then addressed to the remarkable correspondence of the Skaergaard and Thingmuli pyroxene fractionation trends.