Lake Pavin pp 129-142 | Cite as

Magmatic Evolution of Pavin’s Group of Volcanoes: Petrology, Geochemistry and Modeling of Differentiation Processes. A Preliminary Study

  • Benoît VillemantEmail author
  • Benoît Caron
  • Pauline Thierry
  • Pierre Boivin


The volcanoes of the Pavin group (Montcineyre, Estivadoux, Montchal and Pavin) represent the most recent (~7 ky) volcanic activity in the Chaîne des Puys s.l.) and also occupy a particular geographical and structural position in this volcanic chain. Petrology and geochemistry of the volcanic products (lava flows, scoriae, bombs and pumice clasts) of the different edifices show that they define a magma differentiation series from primary basalts (Montcineyre lava flow) to benmoreites (Pavin pumice clasts) with close similarities with that of the Chaîne des Puys (stricto sensu). It is however characterized by some significant difference in the relative behavior of K2O and of numerous trace elements such as Sc, Co, Y, REE, Nb, Ta. These specific behaviors, in particular the relatively high bulk partition coefficients of Nb and Ta are characteristic of the fractionation of amphibole which is the only major mineral phase able to significantly fractionate these incompatible elements in basaltic to benmoreitic magmas. A quantitative modeling of the differentiation process using major and trace element partition coefficients is proposed which evidence the very early fractionation of amphibole from the most primary basaltic melts. This result is consistent with petrological observations and confirms the earlier and more efficient fractionation of amphibole at the expense of clinopyroxene in magmas of the Pavin group compared to those of the Chaîne des Puys (stricto sensu). The results are used to discuss the influence of these specific differentiation conditions involving large H2O contents in primary melts likely contributing to the particularly high explosivity of the Pavin eruption which produced benmoreitic to trachytic magmas.

The particular features of the Pavin group within the Chaîne des Puys volcanic system, namely, the southernmost position, the younger age, the specific magmatic evolution from the most primary basalt ever erupted in Chaîne des Puys, coupled with a short activity duration (~400 years) justify a renewal of petrological and geochemical interest for these volcanoes.


France Massif Central Chaîne des Puys Lake Pavin Geochemistry Trace elements Magmatology 



We thank G. Grassi for her participation in preliminary analyzes. One of us (BV) is particularly grateful to the late P. Vincent and his student JL. Bourdier for their initiation, 35 years ago, to the tephrostratigraphy of Pavin eruptions. We thank C. Martel and I. Vlastelic for their constructive reviews.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benoît Villemant
    • 1
    Email author
  • Benoît Caron
    • 1
  • Pauline Thierry
    • 1
  • Pierre Boivin
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Pétrologie, Géochimie et Minéralogie MagmatiquesSorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, CNRS, Institut des Sciences de la Terre de Paris (iSTeP)Cedex 05 ParisFrance
  2. 2.LMVUniversité Clermont-Auvergne - CNRS - IRD - OPGCAubièreFrance

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