Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 62–74 | Cite as

Petrology of gabbroic xenoliths in 1960 Kilauea basalt: crystalline remnants of prior (1955) magmatism

  • R. V. Fodor
  • R. B. Moore


The 1960 Kapoho lavas of Kilauea's east rift zone contain 1–10 cm xenoliths of olivine gabbro, olivine gabbro-norite, and gabbro norite. Textures are poikilitic (ol+sp+cpx in pl) and intergranular (cpx+pl±ol±opx). Poikilitic xenoliths, which we interpret as cumulates, have the most primitive mineral compositions, Fo82.5, cpx Mg# 86.5, and An80.5. Many granular xenoliths (ol and noritic gabbro) contain abundant vesicular glass that gives them intersertal, hyaloophitic, and overall ‘open’ textures to suggest that they represent ‘mush’ and ‘crust’ of a magma crystallization environment. Their phase compositions are more evolved (Fo80-70, cpx Mg# 82-75, and An73-63) than those of the poikilitic xenoliths. Associated glass is basaltic, but evolved (MgO 5 wt%; TiO2 3.7–5.8 wt%). The gabbroic xenolith mineral compositions fit existing fractional crystallization models that relate the origins of various Kilauea lavas to one another. FeO/MgO crystal-liquid partitioning is consistent with the poikilitic ol-gabbro assemblage forming as a crystallization product from Kilauea summit magma with ∼8 wt% MgO that was parental to evolved lavas on the east rift zone. For example, least squares calculations link summit magmas to early 1955 rift-zone lavas (∼5 wt% MgO) through ∼28–34% crystallization of the ol+sp+cpx+pl that comprise the poikilitic ol-gabbros. The other ol-gabbro assemblages and the olivine gabbro-norite assemblages crystallized from evolved liquids, such as represented by the early 1955 and late 1955 lavas (∼6.5 wt% MgO) of the east rift zone. The eruption of 1960 Kapoho magmas, then, scoured the rift-zone reservoir system to entrain portions of cumulate and solidification zones that had coated reservoir margins during crystallization of prior east rift-zone magmas.

Key words

basalt gabbro xenolith Kilauea basalt crystallization basalt phases cumulate 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. V. Fodor
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. B. Moore
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric SciencesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Geological SurveyDenverUSA

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