Genesis of high Mg# andesites and the continental crust

  • Peter B. Kelemen


The continental crust has an andesitic composition with high Mg/(Mg+Fe) and Ni contents which may be too high to have formed by differentiation of basaltic magmas. Instead, mantle-derived, high Mg# andesites (HMA) may form a substantial component of the crust. HMA may be produced by partial melting of previously depleted, subsequently metasomatised mantle peridotite. However, they are more likely produced by reaction between ascending melts and mantle peridotite. HMA are less common than basalts among lavas in modern island arcs, but may have been more common in the past, may be produced in specific environments (such as “ridge subduction”), may be more common among plutonic rocks in the lower and middle crust than among lavas at the surface, and may be selectively preserved during later erosion and subduction processes.


Subduction Mineral Resource Partial Melting Continental Crust Basaltic Magma 
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Other Archean igneous suites in Fig. 5 A

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Aleutian plutonic rocks in Fig. 5 B

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Other arc-related plutonic rock suites in Fig. 5 B

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter B. Kelemen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geology & GeophysicsWoods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleUSA

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