Skip to main content
Log in

Mineralogy and proposed P-T paths of basaltic lavas from Rabaul caldera, Papua New Guinea

  • Published:
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Rabaul caldera is a large volcanic depression at the north-east tip of New Britain, Papua New Guinea. The lavas range in composition from basalt to rhyolite and have a calc-alkalic affinity but also display features typical of tholeiites, including moderate absolute iron enrichment in flows cropping out around the caldera. The basalts contain phenocrysts of plagioclase and clinopyroxene with less abundant olivine and titanomagnetite. In the basaltic andesites olivine is rare, while orthopyroxene and titanomagnetite are common along with plagioclase and clinopyroxene. Orthopyroxene is also found mantling olivine in some of the basalts while in both rock types pigeonitic augite is a fairly common constituent of the groundmass. Plagioclase in both basalt and basaltic andesite often exhibits sieve texture and analysis of the glass blebs show them to be of similar composition to the bulk rock. Phenocrystic clinopyroxene is a diopsidic augite in both basalt and basaltic andesite. Al2O3 content of the clinopyroxene is moderately high (∼4%) and often shows considerable variation in any one grain. Calculations show that the microphenocrysts probably crystallised near the surface, while phenocrysts crystallised at around 7 kb (21 km). Neither the basalts nor the basaltic andesites would have been in equilibrium at any geologically reasonable P and T with quartz eclogite. Equilibration between mantle peridotite and a. typical Rabaul basaltic liquid could have occurred around 35 kb and 1270 °C. A basaltic andesite liquid yields a temperature of 1263 °C and a pressure of 28 kb for equilibration with mantle peridotite.

Partial melting of sufficient volumes of mantle peridotite at these P's and T's requires about 15% H2O, but there is no evidence that these magmas ever contained large amounts of water. It is proposed that the Rabaul magmas were initially generated by partial melting of subducted lithosphere and subsequently modified by minor partial melting as they passed through the overlying mantle peridotite.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Bacon, C.R., Carmichael, I.S.E.: Stages in the P-T path of an ascending basalt magma: an example from San Quintin, Baja California. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 41, 1–22 (1973)

    Google Scholar 

  • Bottinga, Y., Kudo, A., Weill, D.: Some observations on oscillatory zoning and crystallization of magmatic plagioclase. Am. Mineralogist 51, 792–806 (1966)

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown, F.H., Carmichael, I.S.E.: Quaternary volcanoes of the Lake Rudolph region: The lavas of North Island, South Island and the Barrier. Lithos 4, 305–323 (1971)

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown, G.M., Vincent, E.A.: Pyroxenes from the late stages of fractionation of the Skaergaard intrusion, East Greenland. J. Petrol. 4, 175–197 (1963)

    Google Scholar 

  • Buddington, A.F., Lindsley, D.H.: Iron-titanium oxide minerals and synthetic equivalents. J. Petrol. 5, 310–357 (1964)

    Google Scholar 

  • Carmichael, I.S.E.: The iron-titanium oxides of salic volcanic rocks and their associated ferromagnesian silicates. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 14, 36–64 (1967)

    Google Scholar 

  • Carmichael, I.S.E., Nicholls, J., Spera, F.J., Wood, B.J., Nelson, S.: High temperature properties of silicate liquids: Applications to the equilibration and ascent of basic magma. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. 5238 (1976)

  • Cohen, L.H., Ito, K., Kennedy, G.C.: Melting and phase relations in an anhydrous basalt to 40 kilobars. Am. J. Sci. 265, 475–518 (1967)

    Google Scholar 

  • Evans, B.W., Moore, J.G.: Mineralogy as a function of depth in the prehistoric Makaopuhi tholeiitic lava lake, Hawaii. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 17, 85–115 (1968)

    Google Scholar 

  • Ewart, A., Bryan, W.B., Gill, J.B.: Mineralogy and geochemistry of the younger volcanic islands of Tonga, S.W. Pacific. J. Petrol. 14, 429–465 (1973)

    Google Scholar 

  • Finlayson, D.M., Cull, J.P.: Structural profiles in the New Britain/New Ireland region. J. Geol. Soc. Australia 20, 37–48 (1973)

    Google Scholar 

  • Green, D.H., Ringwood, A.E.: The genesis of basaltic magmas. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 15, 103–190 (1967)

    Google Scholar 

  • Green, D.H., Ringwood, A.E.: Genesis of the calc-alkaline igneous rock suite. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 18, 105–162 (1968)

    Google Scholar 

  • Green, T.: Crystallization of calc-alkaline andesite under controlled high-pressure hydrous conditions. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 34, 150–166 (1972)

    Google Scholar 

  • Hatherton, T., Dickinson, W.R.: The relationship between andesitic volcanism and seismicity in Indonesia, the lesser Antilles, and other island arcs. J. Geophys. Res. 74, 5301–5310 (1968)

    Google Scholar 

  • Heming, R.F.: The geology and petrology of the Rabaul Caldera, New Britain P.N.G. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am. 85, 1253–1264 (1974)

    Google Scholar 

  • Heming, R.F., Carmichael, I.S.E.: High-temperature pumice flows from the Rabaul caldera, Papua New Guinea. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 38, 1–20 (1973)

    Google Scholar 

  • Jakeš, P., Gill, J.: Rare earth elements and the island arc tholeiitic series. Earth Planet. Sci. Letters 9, 17–28 (1970)

    Google Scholar 

  • Kelley, K.K.: Contributions to the data on theoretical metallurgy, 13, High temperature heat-content, heat-capacity, and entropy data for the elements and inorganic compounds. U.S. Bur. Mines 584, 143 p. (1960)

  • Kubota, S., Berg, E.: Evidence for magma in the Katmai Volcanic Range. Bull. Volcanol. 31, 175–213 (1967)

    Google Scholar 

  • Kudo, A.M., Weill, D.: An igneous plagioclase thermometer. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 25, 52–65 (1970)

    Google Scholar 

  • Kushiro, I.: Clinopyroxene solid solutions formed by reactions between diopside and plagioclase at high pressures. Mineral. Soc. Am. Spec. Papers 2, 179–191 (1969)

    Google Scholar 

  • Kushiro, I.: Effect of water on the composition of magmas formed at high pressures. J. Petrol. 13, 311–334 (1972)

    Google Scholar 

  • Kushiro, I.: Origin of some magmas in oceanic and circumoceanic regions. Tectonophysics 17, 211–222 (1973)

    Google Scholar 

  • Lowder, G.G.: The volcanoes and caldera of Talasea, New Britain: Mineralogy. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol 26, 324–340 (1970)

    Google Scholar 

  • Macdonald, G.A., Katsura, T.: Eruption of Lassen Peak, Cascade Range, California, in 1915: Example of mixed magmas. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am. 76, 475–482 (1965)

    Google Scholar 

  • Marsh, B.D., Carmichael, I.S.E.: Benioff zone magmatism. J. Geophys. Res. 79, 1196–1206 (1974)

    Google Scholar 

  • Mathez, E.A.: Refinement of the Kudo-Weill plagioclase thermometer and its application to basaltic rocks. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 41, 61–72 (1973)

    Google Scholar 

  • Nicholls, I.A.: Liquids in equilibrium with peridotitic mineral assemblages at high water pressures. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 45, 289–316 (1974)

    Google Scholar 

  • Nicholls, I.A., Ringwood, A.E.: Effect of water on olivine stability in tholeiites and the production of silica-saturated magmas in the island-arc environment. J. Geol. 81, 285–300 (1973)

    Google Scholar 

  • Nicholls, J., Carmichael, I.S.E.: The equilibration temperature and pressure of various lava types with spinel- and garnet-peridotite. Am. Mineralogist 57, 941–959 (1972)

    Google Scholar 

  • Nicholls, J., Carmichael, I.S.E., Stormer, J.C., Jr.: Silica activity and Ptotal in igneous rocks. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 33, 1–20 (1971)

    Google Scholar 

  • Paul, A., Douglas, R.W.: Ferrous-ferric equilibrium in binary alkali silicate glasses. Phys. Chem. Glasses 6, 207–211 (1965)

    Google Scholar 

  • Pearce, J.A., Cann, J.R.: Tectonic setting of basic volcanic rocks determined using trace element analyses. Earth Planet. Sci. Letters 19, 290–300 (1973)

    Google Scholar 

  • Powell, M., Powell, R.: An olivine-clinopyroxene geothermometer. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 48, 249–263 (1974)

    Google Scholar 

  • Robie, R. A., Waldbaum, D.R.: Thermodynamic properties of minerals and related substances at 298.15 ° K and one atmos. pressure and higher temps. U.S. Geol. Surv. Bull. 1259, 256 p. (1968)

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith, A.L., Carmichael, I.S.E.: Quaternary lavas from the southern Cascades, western U.S.A. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 19, 212–238 (1968)

    Google Scholar 

  • Stull, D.R., Prophet, H. (eds): Joint Army Navy Air Force Thermochemical tables. 2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Govt Printing Office 1971

    Google Scholar 

  • Verhoogen, J.: Distribution of titanium between silicates and oxides in igneous rocks. Am. J. Sci. 260. 211–220 (1962)

    Google Scholar 

  • Wood, B.J., Banno, S.: Garnet-Orthopyroxene and Orthopyroxene-Clinopyroxene relationships in simple and complex systems. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 42, 109–124 (1973)

    Google Scholar 

  • Yoder, H.S., Tilley, C.E.: Origin of basalt magmas: An experimental study of natural and synthetic rock systems. J. Petrol. 3, 342–532 (1962)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Heming, R.F. Mineralogy and proposed P-T paths of basaltic lavas from Rabaul caldera, Papua New Guinea. Contr. Mineral. and Petrol. 61, 15–33 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00375943

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00375943

Keywords

Navigation