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Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp 241–264 | Cite as

Effusive eruption of viscous silicic magma triggered and driven by recharge: a case study of the Cerro Chascon-Runtu Jarita Dome Complex in Southwest Bolivia

  • Robert B. Watts
  • Shanaka L. de Silva
  • Guillermina Jimenez de Rios
  • Ian Croudace
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

 The Cerro Chascon-Runtu Jarita Complex is a group of ten Late Pleistocene (∼85 ka) lava domes located in the Andean Central Volcanic Zone of Bolivia. These domes display considerable macroscopic and microscopic evidence of magma mixing. Two groups of domes are defined chemically and geographically. A northern group, the Chascon, consists of four lava bodies of dominantly rhyodacite composition. These bodies contain 43–48% phenocrysts of plagioclase, quartz, sanidine, biotite, and amphibole in a microlite-poor, rhyolitic glass. Rare mafic enclaves and selvages are present. Mineral equilibria yield temperatures from 640 to 750  °C and log ƒO2 of –16. Geochemical data indicate that the pre-eruption magma chamber was zoned from a dominant volume of 68% to minor amounts of 76% SiO2. This zonation is best explained by fractional crystallization and some mixing between rhyodacite and more evolved compositions. The mafic enclaves represent magma that intruded but did not chemically interact much with the evolved magmas. A southern group, the Runtu Jarita, is a linear chain of six small domes (<1 km3 total volume) that probably is the surface expression of a dike. The five most northerly domes are composites of dacitic and rhyolitic compositions. The southernmost dome is dominantly rhyolite with rare mafic enclaves. The composite domes have lower flanks of porphyritic dacite with ∼35 vol.% phenocrysts of plagioclase, orthopyroxene, and hornblende in a microlite-rich, rhyodacitic glass. Sieve-textured plagioclase, mixed populations of disequilibrium plagioclase compositions, xenocrystic quartz, and sanidine with ternary composition reaction rims indicate that the dacite is a hybrid. The central cores of the composite domes are rhyolitic and contain up to 48 vol.% phenocrysts of plagioclase, quartz, sanidine, biotite, and amphibole. This is separated from the dacitic flanks by a banded zone of mingled lava. Macroscopic, microscopic, and petrologic evidence suggest scavenging of phenocrysts from the silicic lava. Mineral equilibria yield temperatures of 625–727  °C and log ƒO2 of –16 for the rhyolite and 926–1000  °C and log ƒO2 of –9.5 for the dacite. The rhyolite is zoned from 73 to 76% SiO2, and fractionation within the rhyolite composition produced this variation. Most of the 63–73% SiO2 compositional range of the lava in this group is the result of mixing between the hybrid dacite and the rhyolite. Eruption of both groups of lavas apparently was triggered by mafic recharge. A paucity of explosive activity suggests that volatile and thermal exchanges between reservoir and recharge magmas were less important than volume increase and the lubricating effects of recharge by mafic magmas. For the Runtu Jarita group, the eruption is best explained by intrusion of a dike of dacite into a chamber of crystal-rich rhyolite close to its solidus. The rhyolite was encapsulated and transported to the surface by the less-viscous dacite magma, which also acted as a lubricant. Simultaneous effusion of the lavas produced the composite domes, and their zonation reflects the subsurface zonation. The role of recharge by hotter, more fluid mafic magma appears to be critical to the eruption of some highly viscous silicic magmas.

Key words Lava domes Recharge Eruption mechanisms Encapsulation 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert B. Watts
    • 1
  • Shanaka L. de Silva
    • 1
  • Guillermina Jimenez de Rios
    • 2
  • Ian Croudace
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Geography, Geology, and Anthropology, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN 47809, USA e-mail: gesilva@scifac.indstate.edu, Fax: +812-2378029IN
  2. 2.GEOBOL, Casilla 2729, La Paz, BoliviaBO
  3. 3.Department of Geology, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO9 5NH, EnglandGB

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