Scientific article

Enriched Basaltic Andesites from Mid-crustal Fractional Crystallization, Recharge, and Assimilation (Pilavo Volcano, Western Cordillera of Ecuador)

Published inJournal of petrology, vol. 52, no. 6, p. 1107-1141
Publication date2011

The origin of andesite is an important issue in petrology because andesite is the main eruptive product at convergent margins, corresponds to the average crustal composition and is often associated with major Cu^Au mineralization. In this study we present petro- graphic, mineralogical, geochemical and isotopic data for basaltic andesites of the latest Pleistocene Pilavo volcano, one of the most frontal volcanoes of the Ecuadorian Quaternary arc, situated upon thick (30^50km) mafic crust composed of accreted Cretaceous oceanic plateau rocks and overlying mafic to intermediate Late Cretaceous^Late Tertiary magmatic arcs. The Pilavo rocks are bas- altic andesites (54^57·5 wt % SiO2) with a tholeiitic affinity as opposed to the typical calc-alkaline high-silica andesites and dacites (SiO2 59^66wt %) of other frontal arc volcanoes of Ecuador (e.g. Pichincha, Pululahua). They have much higher incompatible element contents (e.g. Sr 650^1350 ppm, Ba 650^1800 ppm, Zr 100^225 ppm, Th 5^25 ppm, La 15^65 ppm) and Th/La ratios (0·28^0·36) than Pichincha and Pululahua, and more primitive Sr (87Sr/86Sr 􏰃0·7038^0·7039) and Nd (eNd 􏰃 þ5·5 to þ6·1) isotopic signatures. Pilavo andesites have geochemical affinities with modern and recent high-MgO andesites (e.g. low-silica ada- kites, Setouchi sanukites) and, especially, with Archean sanukitoids, for both of which incompatible element enrichments are believed to result from interactions of slab melts with peridotitic mantle. Petrographic, mineral chemistry, bulk-rock geochemical and isotopic data indicate that the Pilavo magmatic rocks have evolved through three main stages: (1) generation of a basaltic magma in the mantle wedge region by flux melting induced by slab-derived fluids (aque- ous, supercritical or melts); (2) high-pressure differentiation of the basaltic melt (at the mantle^crust boundary or at lower crustal levels) through sustained fractionation of olivine and clinopyroxene, leading to hydrous, high-alumina basaltic andesite melts with a tholeiitic affinity, enriched in incompatible elements and strongly impoverished in Ni and Cr; (3) establishment of one or more mid-crustal magma storage reservoirs in which the magmas evolved through dominant amphibole and clinopyroxene (but no plagioclase) fractionation accompanied by assimilation of the modified plutonic roots of the arc and recharge by incoming batches of more primitive magma from depth. The latter process has resulted in strongly increasing incompatible element concentrations in the Pilavo basaltic andesites, coupled with slightly increasing crustal isotopic signatures and a shift towards a more calc-alkaline affinity. Our data show that, although ultimately originating from the slab, incompatible element abundances in arc andesites with primitive isotopic signa- tures can be significantly enhanced by intra-crustal processes within a thick juvenile mafic crust, thus providing an additional process for the generation of enriched andesites.

Citation (ISO format)
CHIARADIA, Massimo, MUNTENER, Othmar, BEATE, B. Enriched Basaltic Andesites from Mid-crustal Fractional Crystallization, Recharge, and Assimilation (Pilavo Volcano, Western Cordillera of Ecuador). In: Journal of petrology, 2011, vol. 52, n° 6, p. 1107–1141. doi: 10.1093/petrology/egr020
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0022-3530

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