Original Paper

Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 165, Issue 4, pp 663-682

First online:

Crystal reaming during the assembly, maturation, and waning of an eleven-million-year crustal magma cycle: thermobarometry of the Aucanquilcha Volcanic Cluster

  • Barry A. WalkerJr.Affiliated withDepartment of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington Email author 
  • , Erik W. KlemettiAffiliated withDepartment of Geosciences, Denison University
  • , Anita L. GrunderAffiliated withDepartment of Geosciences, Oregon State University
  • , John H. DillesAffiliated withDepartment of Geosciences, Oregon State University
  • , Frank J. TepleyAffiliated withDepartment of Geosciences, Oregon State University
  • , Denise GilesAffiliated withDepartment of Geosciences, Oregon State University

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Phenocryst assemblages of lavas from the long-lived Aucanquilcha Volcanic Cluster (AVC) have been probed to assess pressure and temperature conditions of pre-eruptive arc magmas. Andesite to dacite lavas of the AVC erupted throughout an 11-million-year, arc magmatic cycle in the central Andes in northern Chile. Phases targeted for thermobarometry include amphibole, plagioclase, pyroxenes, and Fe–Ti oxides. Overall, crystallization is documented over 1–7.5 kbar (~25 km) of pressure and ~680–1,110 °C of temperature. Pressure estimates range from ~1 to 5 kbar for amphiboles and from ~3 to 7.5 kbar for pyroxenes. Pyroxene temperatures are tightly clustered from ~1,000–1,100 °C, Fe–Ti oxide temperatures range from ~750–1,000 °C, and amphibole temperatures range from ~780–1,050 °C. Although slightly higher, these temperatures correspond well with previously published zircon temperatures ranging from ~670–900 °C. Two different Fe–Ti oxide thermometers (Andersen and Lindsley 1985; Ghiorso and Evans 2008) are compared and agree well. We also compare amphibole and amphibole–plagioclase thermobarometers (Ridolfi et al. 2010; Holland and Blundy 1994; Anderson and Smith 1995), the solutions from which do not agree well. In samples where we employ multiple thermometers, pyroxene temperature estimates are always highest, zircon temperature estimates are lowest, and Fe–Ti oxide and amphibole temperature estimates fall in between. Maximum Fe–Ti oxide and zircon temperatures are observed during the middle stage of AVC activity (~5–3 Ma), a time associated with increased eruption rates. Amphibole temperatures during this time are relatively restricted (~850–1,000 °C). The crystal record presented here offers a time-transgressive view of an evolving, multi-tiered subvolcanic reservoir. Some crystals in AVC lavas are likely to be true phenocrysts, but the diversity of crystallization temperatures and pressures recorded by phases in individual AVC lavas suggests erupting magma extensively reams and accumulates crystals from disparate levels of the middle to upper crust.


Arc volcanism Pre-eruptive conditions Volcanic–plutonic connection Batholith evolution Magmatic processing Central Andes Geothermobarometry