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Plagioclase zonation styles in hornblende gabbro inclusions from Little Glass Mountain, Medicine Lake volcano, California: Implications for fractionation mechanisms and the formation of composition gaps

Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

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Abstract

The rhyolite of Little Glass Mountain (73-74% SiO2) is a single eruptive unit that contains inclusions of quenched andesite liquid (54-61% SiO2) and partially crystalline cumulate hornblende gabbro (53-55% SiO2). Based on previous studies, the quenched andesite inclusions and host rhyolite lava are related to one another through fractional crystallization and represent an example of a fractionation-generated composition gap. The hornblende gabbros represent the cumulate residue associated with the rhyolite-producing and composition gap-forming fractionation event. This study combines textural (Nomarski Differential Interference Contrast, NDIC, imaging), major element (An content) and trace element (Mg, Fe, Sr, K, Ti, Ba) data on the style of zonation of plagioclase crystals from representative andesite and gabbro inclusions, to assess the physical environment in which the fractionation event and composition gap formation took place. The andesite inclusions (54-61% SiO2) are sparsely phyric with phenocrysts of plagioclase, augite and Fe-oxide??olivine, +/-orthopyroxene, +/-hornblende set within a glassy to crystalline matrix. The gabbro cumulates (53-55% SiO2) consist of an interconnected framework of plagioclase, augite, olivine, orthopyroxene, hornblende and Fe-oxide along with highly vesicular interstitial glass (70-74% SiO2). The gabbros record a two-stage crystallization history of plagioclase + olivine + augite (Stage I) followed by plagioclase+orthopyroxene + hornblende + Fe-oxide (Stage II). Texturally, the plagioclase crystals in the andesite inclusions are characterized by complex, fine-scale oscillatory zonation and abundant dissolution surfaces. Compositionally (An content) the crystals are essentially unzoned from core-to-rim. These features indicate growth within a dynamic (convecting?), reservoir of andesite magma. In contrast, the plagioclase crystals in the gabbros are texturally smooth and featureless with strong normal zonation from An74 at the core to around An30, K, and Ba abundances increase and Mg abundances decrease steadily towards the rim. Ti, Fe, and Sr abundances increase and then decrease towards the rim. The trace element variations are fully consistent with the two-stage crystallization sequence inferred from the gabbro mineralogy. These results indicate progressive closed-system in situ crystallization in a quiescent magmatic boundary layer environment located along the margins of the andesite magma body. The fractional crystallization that generated the host rhyolite lava is one of inward solidification of a crystallizing boundary layer followed by melt extraction and accumulation of highly evolved interstitial liquid. This mechanism explains the formation of the composition gap between parental andesite and rhyolite magma compositions.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Plagioclase zonation styles in hornblende gabbro inclusions from Little Glass Mountain, Medicine Lake volcano, California: Implications for fractionation mechanisms and the formation of composition gaps
Series title:
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Volume
126
Issue:
1-2
Year Published:
1997
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
First page:
121
Last page:
136