Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 160, Issue 3, pp 359–381 | Cite as

Construction of the granitoid crust of an island arc. Part II: a quantitative petrogenetic model

  • Oliver E. Jagoutz
Original Paper


Results of simple model calculations that integrate cumulate compositions from the Kohistan arc terrain are presented in order to develop a consistent petrogenetic model to explain the Kohistan island arc granitoids. The model allows a quantitative approximation of the possible relative roles of fractional crystallization and assimilation to explain the silica-rich upper crust composition of oceanic arcs. Depending in detail on the parental magma composition hydrous moderate-to-high pressure fractional crystallization in the lower crust/upper mantle is an adequate upper continental crust forming mechanism in terms of volume and compositions. Accordingly, assimilation and partial melting in the lower crust is not per se a necessary process to explain island arc granitoids. However, deriving few percent of melts using low degree of dehydration melting is a crucial process to produce volumetrically important amounts of upper continental crust from silica-poorer parental magmas. Even though the model can explain the silica-rich upper crustal composition of the Kohistan, the fractionation model does not predict the accepted composition of the bulk continental crust. This finding supports the idea that additional crustal refining mechanism (e.g., delamination of lower crustal rocks) and/or non-cogenetic magmatic process were critical to create the bulk continental crust composition.


Continental crust Granitoid Crystal fractionation Partial melting Subduction zone 



Discussions with Matt Rioux, Tim Grove and Othmar Müntener helped to shape these ideas. Bruno Dhuime is thanked for sharing in-depth details related to his geochemical dataset. Othmar Müntener is thanked for comments on the manuscript and the very helpful, detailed, and thoughtful journal reviews by Tom Sisson and an anonymous reviewer greatly improved the manuscript.


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© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary SciencesMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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