Scientific article
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Adakite-like volcanism of Ecuador: lower crust magmatic evolution and recycling

Published inContributions to mineralogy and petrology, vol. 158, no. 5, p. 563-588
  • Open Access - Licence nationale Springer
Publication date2009

In the Northern Andes of Ecuador, a broad Quaternary volcanic arc with significant across-arc geo- chemical changes sits upon continental crust consisting of accreted oceanic and continental terranes. Quaternary volcanic centers occur, from west to east, along the Western Cordillera (frontal arc), in the Inter-Andean Depression and along the Eastern Cordillera (main arc), and in the Sub-Andean Zone (back-arc). The adakite-like signatures of the frontal and main arc volcanoes have been interpreted either as the result of slab melting plus subsequent slab melt–mantle interactions or of lower crustal melting, fractional crystallization, and assimilation processes. In this paper, we present petrographic, geo- chemical, and isotopic (Sr, Nd, Pb) data on dominantly andesitic to dacitic volcanic rocks as well as crustal xenolith and cumulate samples from five volcanic centers (Pululagua, Pichincha, Ilalo, Chacana, Sumaco) forming a NW–SE transect at about 0° latitude and encompassing the frontal (Pululagua, Pichincha), main (Ilalo, Chacana), andback-arc (Sumaco) chains. All rocks display typical sub- duction-related geochemical signatures, such as Nb and Ta negative anomalies and LILE enrichment. They show a relative depletion of fluid-mobile elements and a general increase in incompatible elements from the front to the back-arc suggesting derivation from progressively lower degrees of partial melting of the mantle wedge induced by decreasing amounts of fluids released from the slab. We observe widespread petrographic evidence of interaction of primary melts with mafic xenoliths as well as with clino- pyroxene- and/or amphibole-bearing cumulates and of magma mixing at all frontal and main arc volcanic centers. Within each volcanic center, rocks display correlations between evolution indices and radiogenic isotopes, although absolute variations of radiogenic isotopes are small and their values are overall rather primitive (e.g., eNd = ?1.5 to ?6, 87Sr/86Sr = 0.7040–0.70435). Rare earth element patterns are characterized by variably frac- tionated light to heavy REE (La/YbN = 5.7–34) and by the absence of Eu negative anomalies suggesting evolution of these rocks with limited plagioclase fractionation. We interpret the petrographic, geochemical, and isotopic data as indicating open-system evolution at all volcanic centers characterized by fractional crystallization and magma mixing processes at different lower- to mid-crustal levels as well as by assimilation of mafic lower crust and/or its partial melts. Thus, we propose that the adakite-like sig- natures of Ecuadorian rocks (e.g., high Sr/Y and La/Yb values) are primarily the result of lower- to mid-crustal processing of mantle-derived melts, rather than of slab melts and slab melt–mantle interactions. The isotopic sig- natures of the least evolved adakite-like rocks of the active and recent volcanoes are the same as those of Tertiary ''normal'' calc-alkaline magmatic rocks of Ecuador sug- gesting that the source of the magma did not changethrough time. What changed was the depth of magmatic evolution, probably as a consequence of increased com- pression induced by the stronger coupling between the subducting and overriding plates associated with subduc- tion of the aseismic Carnegie Ridge.

Citation (ISO format)
CHIARADIA, Massimo et al. Adakite-like volcanism of Ecuador: lower crust magmatic evolution and recycling. In: Contributions to mineralogy and petrology, 2009, vol. 158, n° 5, p. 563–588. doi: 10.1007/s00410-009-0397-2
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0010-7999

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