, Volume 147, Issue 2, pp 213-227
Date: 17 Feb 2004

Dynamics of magma mixing and degassing recorded in plagioclase at Stromboli (Aeolian Archipelago, Italy)

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Crystal-rich materials (scoriae and lava flows) emitted during the 1985–2000 activity of Stromboli were taken into consideration for systematic study of bulk rock/matrix glass chemistry and in particular for the study of chemical and textural zoning of plagioclase, the most abundant mineral phase. Over the considered time period, bulk rock composition remained fairly constant in both major (SiO2 49.2–50.9 wt% and K2O 1.96–2.18 wt%) and trace elements. The quite constant chemistry of matrix glasses also indicates that the degree of crystallization of magma was maintained at around 50 vol%. Plagioclase ranges in composition between An62 and An88 and is characterized by alternating, <10–100 μm thick, bytownitic and labradoritic concentric layers, although the dominant and representative plagioclase of scoriae is An68. The labradoritic layers (An62–70) show small-scale (1–5 µm), oscillatory zoning, are free of inclusions, and appear to record episodes of slow crystal growth in equilibrium with a degassed liquid having the composition of the matrix glass. In contrast the bytownitic layers (An70-An88) are patchy zoned, show sieve structure with abundant micrometric glass inclusions and voids, and are attributed to rapid crystal growth.

A key to understanding the origin of bytownitic layers can be retrieved from the texture and composition of the coronas of plagioclase xenocrysts, inherited from crystal-rich magma, in nearly aphyric pumice which are erupted during more energetic events and represent a deep, volatile-rich, HK-basaltic magma. They show a continuum from fine-sieve to evident skeletal texture from the inner to the outer part of the corona associated with normal compositional zoning from An90 to An75. In the light of these observations, we propose that input of H2O-rich melt blobs, and their mixing with the residing magma, causes partial dissolution of the labradoritic layers followed by the growth of bytownitic composition whose sieve texture attests of rapid crystallization occurring under undercooling conditions mainly induced by degassing. As a whole, the zoning of plagioclase in the scoriae records successive and discrete intrusions of volatile-rich magma blobs, its degassing and mixing with the resident degassed magma at shallow level.

Editorial responsibility: T.L. Grove
An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00410-004-0578-y