The Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field, the site of some of the largest known silicic volcanic eruptions, is the present location of NE-migrating hotspot volcanic activity. Most volcanic rocks in the Yellowstone caldera (0.6 Ma), which formed in response to the climactic eruption of 1000 km3 of Lava Creek Tuff (LCT), have unusually low oxygen isotope ratios. Ion microprobe analysis of both U-Pb age and ??18O in zircons from these low-??18O lavas reveals evidence of complex inheritance and remelting. A majority of analyzed zircons from low-??18O lavas erupted inside the Yellowstone caldera have cores that range in age from 2.4 to 0.7 Ma, significantly older than their eruption ages (0.5-0.4 Ma). These ages and the high-??18O cores indicate that these lavas are largely derived from nearly total remelting of normal-??18O Huckleberry Ridge Tuff (HRT) and other pre-LCT volcanic rocks. A post-HRT low-??18O lava shows similar inheritance of HRT-age zircons. The recycling of volcanic rocks by shallow remelting can change the water content and eruptive potential of magma. This newly proposed mechanism of intracaldera volcanism is best studied by combining in situ analysis of oxygen and U-Pb isotope ratios of individual crystals. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Additional Publication Details
Post-caldera volcanism: In situ measurement of U-Pb age and oxygen isotope ratio in Pleistocene zircons from Yellowstone caldera