Locally, voluminous andesitic volcanism both preceded and followed large eruptions of silicic ash-flow tuff from many calderas in the San Juan volcanic field. The most voluminous post-collapse lava suite of the central San Juan caldera cluster is the 28 Ma Huerto Andesite, a diverse assemblage erupted from at least 5-6 volcanic centres that were active around the southern margins of the La Garita caldera shortly after eruption of the Fish Canyon Tuff. These andesitic centres are inferred, in part, to represent eruptions of magma that ponded and differentiated within the crust below the La Garita caldera, thereby providing the thermal energy necessary for rejuvenation and remobilization of the Fish Canyon magma body. The multiple Huerto eruptive centres produced two magmatic series that differ in phenocryst mineralogy (hydrous vs anhydrous assemblages), whole-rock major and trace element chemistry and isotopic compositions. Hornblende-bearing lavas from three volcanic centres located close to the southeastern margin of the La Garita caldera (Eagle Mountain - Fourmile Creek, West Fork of the San Juan River, Table Mountain) define a high-K calc-alkaline series (57-65 wt % SiO2) that is oxidized, hydrous and sulphur rich. Trachyandesitic lavas from widely separated centres at Baldy Mountain-Red Lake (western margin), Sugarloaf Mountain (southern margin) and Ribbon Mesa (20 km east of the La Garita caldera) are mutually indistinguishable (55-61 wt % SiO2); they are characterized by higher and more variable concentrations of alkalis and many incompatible trace elements (e.g. Zr, Nb, heavy rare earth elements), and they contain anhydrous phenocryst assemblages (including olivine). These mildly alkaline magmas were less water rich and oxidized than the hornblende-bearing calc-alkaline suite. The same distinctions characterize the voluminous precaldera andesitic lavas of the Conejos Formation, indicating that these contrasting suites are long-term manifestations of San Juan volcanism. The favoured model for their origin involves contrasting ascent paths and differentiation histories through crustal columns with different thermal and density gradients. Magmas ascending into the main focus of the La Garita caldera were impeded, and they evolved at greater depths, retaining more of their primary volatile load. This model is supported by systematic differences in isotopic compositions suggestive of crust-magma interactions with contrasting lithologies. ?? The Author 2005. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
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Contemporaneous trachyandesitic and calc-alkaline volcanism of the Huerto Andesite, San Juan Volcanic Field, Colorado, USA