Magma evolution in the Purico ignimbrite complex, northern Chile: evidence for zoning of a dacitic magma by injection of rhyolitic melts following mafic recharge
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The 1.3 Ma Purico complex is part of an extensive Neogene–Pleistocene ignimbrite province in the central Andes. Like most other silicic complexes in the province, Purico is dominated by monotonous intermediate ash-flow sheets and has volumetrically minor lava domes. The Purico ignimbrites (total volume 80–100 km3) are divided into a Lower Purico Ignimbrite (LPI) with two extensive flow units, LPI I and LPI II; and a smaller Upper Purico Ignimbrite (UPI) unit. Crystal-rich dacite is the dominant lithology in all the Purico ignimbrites and in the lava domes. It is essentially the only lithology present in the first LPI flow unit (LPI I) and in the Upper Purico Ignimbrite, but the LPI II flow unit is unusual for its compositional diversity. It constitutes a stratigraphic sequence with a basal fall-out deposit containing rhyolitic pumice (68–74 wt% SiO2) overlain by ignimbrite with dominant crystal-rich dacitic pumice (64–66 wt% SiO2). Rare andesitic and banded pumice (60–61 wt% SiO2) are also present in the uppermost part of the flow unit. The different compositional groups of pumice in LPI II flow unit (rhyolite, andesite, dacite) have initial Nd and Sr isotopic compositions that are indistinguishable from each other and from the dominant dacitic pumice (εNd=–6.7 to –7.2 and 87Sr/86Sr=0.7085–0.7090). However, two lines of evidence show that the andesite, dacite and rhyolite pumices do not represent a simple fractionation series. First, melt inclusions trapped in sequential growth zones of zoned plagioclase grains in the rhyolite record fractionation trends in the melt that diverge from those shown by dacite samples. Second, mineral equilibrium geothermometry reveals that dacites from all ignimbrite flow units and from the domes had relatively uniform and moderate pre-eruptive temperatures (780–800 °C), whereas the rhyolites and andesites yield consistently higher temperatures (850–950 °C). Hornblende geobarometry and pressure constraints from H2O and CO2 contents in melt inclusions indicate upper crustal (4–8 km) magma storage conditions. The petrologic evidence from the LPI II system thus indicates an anomalously zoned magma chamber with a rhyolitic cap that was hotter than, and chemically unrelated to, the underlying dacite. We suggest that the hotter rhyolite and andesite magmas are both related to an episode of replenishment in the dacitic Purico magma chamber. Rapid and effective crystal fractionation of the fresh andesite produced a hot rhyolitic melt whose low density and viscosity permitted ascent through the chamber without significant thermal and chemical equilibration with the resident dacite. Isotopic and compositional variations in the Purico system are typical of those seen throughout the Neogene ignimbrite complexes of the Central Andes. These characteristics were generated at moderate crustal depths (<30 km) by crustal melting, mixing and homogenization involving mantle-derived basalts. For the Purico system, assimilation of at least 30% mantle-derived material is required.
KeywordsMagma Chamber Flow Unit Lava Dome Magma Storage Dacitic Magma
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