Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 93, Issue 3, pp 297–311 | Cite as

Petrology and evolution of transitional alkaline — sub alkaline lavas from Patmos, Dodecanesos, Greece: evidence for fractional crystallization, magma mixing and assimilation

  • G. Paul Wyers
  • Michael Barton


Petrographic, mineral chemical and whole-rock major oxide data are presented for the lavas of the Main Volcanic Series of Patmos, Dodecanesos, Greece. These lavas were erupted about 7 m.y. ago and range in composition from ne-trachybasalts through hy-trachybasalts and trachyandesites to Q-trachytes. To some extent, the ne-trachybasalts are intermediate in composition to the alkaline lavas found on oceanic islands and the calc-alkaline lavas of destructive plate margins. Major oxide variation is largely explicable in terms of fractional crystallization involving removal of the observed phenocryst and microphenocryst phases viz. olivine, plagioclase, clinopyroxene and Ti-magnetite in the mafic lavas, plagioclase, clinopyroxene, mica and Ti-magnetite in the evolved lavas. Apatite, which occurs as an inclusion in other phenocrysts or as microphenocrysts must also have been removed. However, mass balance calculations indicate that the chemistry of the hy-trachybasalts is inconsistent with an origin via fractional crystallization alone and the complex zoning patterns and resorbtion phenomena shown by phenocrysts in these lavas show that they are hybrids formed by the mixing of 80-77% ne-trachybasalt with 20–23% trachyandesite. It is estimated that the mixing event preceded eruption by a period of 12 h-2 weeks suggesting that mixing triggered eruption. Combined fractionation and mixing cannot explain the relatively low MgO contents of the hy-trachybasalts and it is concluded that assimilation also occurred. Assimilation, and especially addition of volatiles to the magmas, may be responsible for the evolutionary trend from ne-normative to hy-normative magmas and was probably facilitated by intensified convection resulting from mixing. A model is presented whereby primitive magma undergoes fractionation in an intracrustal magma chamber to yield more evolved liquids. Influx of hot primitive magma into the base of the chamber facilitates assimilation, but eventually mixing yields the hy-trachybasalts and finally the ne-trachybasalts are erupted.


Assimilation Olivine Apatite Fractional Crystallization Major Oxide 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Paul Wyers
    • 1
  • Michael Barton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geology and MineralogyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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