Basaltic fragments enclosed in andesitic dome lavas and pyroclastic flows erupted during the early stages of the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines, contain amphiboles that crystallized during the injection of mafic magma into a dacitic magma body. The amphiboles contain abundant melt inclusions, which recorded the mixing of andesitic melt in the mafic magma and rhyolitic melt in the dacitic magma. The least evolved melt inclusions have high sulfur contents (up to 1,700 ppm) mostly as SO42, which suggests an oxidized state of the magma (NNO + 1.4). The intrinsically oxidized nature of the mafic magma is confirmed by spinel-olivine oxygen barometry. The value is comparable to that of the dacitic magma (NNO + 1.6). Hence, models invoking mixing as a means of releasing sulfur from the melt are not applicable to Pinatubo. Instead, the oxidized state of the dacitic magma likely reflects that of parental mafic magma and the source region in the sub-arc mantle. Our results fit a model in which long-lived SO2 discharge from underplated mafic magma accumulated in the overlying dacitic magma and immiscible aqueous fluids. The fluids were the most likely source of sulfur that was released into the atmosphere during the cataclysmic eruption. The concurrence of highly oxidized basaltic magma and disproportionate sulfur output during the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption suggests that oxidized mafic melt is an efficient medium for transferring sulfur from the mantle to shallow crustal levels and the atmosphere. As it can carry large amounts of sulfur, effectively scavenge sulfides from the source mantle and discharge SO2 during ascent, oxidized mafic magma forms arc volcanoes with high sulfur fluxes, and potentially contributes to the formation of metallic sulfide deposits. ?? Springer-Verlag 2003.
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Oxidized sulfur-rich mafic magma at Mount Pinatubo, Philippines