Magma evolution and ascent at volcanic arcs: constraining petrogenetic processes through rates and chronologies


Large Ra excesses in a number of mafic arc magmas, and geophysical observations of earthquake hypocenters locations, indicate that mafic melts can get transferred from source to surface within days to ~1 kyr. Decreasing Ra–Th disequilibria with increasing SiO2 in co-magmatic suites of individual arc volcanoes suggest that magma differentiation often occurs on timescales of a few thousand years in closed systems, or less in open systems. However, the rapid decrease of global U–Th disequilibria with increasing SiO2 within basaltic andesite compositions suggests that rapid closed system differentiation does not typically produce more evolved compositions from mafic parental magmas with large U excesses. In the case of rapid magmatic evolution, open system processes are frequently involved in the production of andesites and dacites, and the data imply that the open system component is close to U–Th secular equilibrium. MELTS modeling of magma evolution at Santorini in the Aegean arc provides corroborating evidence from an individual well-studied arc volcano, that closed system fractional crystallization fails to produce the more evolved compositions, and increasing Sr/Sr ratios with increasing SiO2 from andesites to rhyolites suggests assimilation of old crust is involved. These observations can be conceptualized through thermal modeling of basaltic sill injections into the lower and upper crust. Melt production in deep crustal hot zones provides an explanation for low U–Th disequilibria of the evolved magmatic component, as significant accumulation of evolved melts through partial re-melting of previously intruded basalts requires N100 kyr incubation time at typical magmatic flux rates. Thermal modeling also provides a framework for understanding assimilation of old upper crustal rocks in more mature magmatic systems. Further insights into magmatic evolution can be gained from dating of minerals from mafic, intermediate and felsic arc magmas. (a) Many U–Th mineral isochrons in mafic arc magmas yield ages significantly older than those obtained from Ra–Th mineral isochrons from the same samples. A crystal size distribution case study from Soufrière, St.

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@inproceedings{Turner2004MagmaEA, title={Magma evolution and ascent at volcanic arcs: constraining petrogenetic processes through rates and chronologies}, author={Stephen P. Turner and C. J. Hawkesworth}, year={2004} }