The 27.8 Ma Fish Canyon Tuff, a vast ash-flow sheet (??5000 km3) of uniform phenocryst-rich dacite, is representative of "monotonous intermediate" eruptions from a magma chamber that lacked compositional gradients. Sparse small fragments of comagmatic granophyre in late-erupted tuff and postcaldera lava, having mineral compositions indistinguishable from phenocrysts in the tuff and precaldera lava-like rocks, record complex events in the Fish Canyon chamber just prior to eruption. Sanidine phenocrysts in the granophyre preserve zoning evidence of mingling with andesitic magma, then shattering by decompression and volatile loss accompanying early Fish Canyon eruptions before overgrowth by granophyre. The textural and chemical disequilibria indicate that the eruption resulted from batholith-scale remobilization of a shallow subvolcanic chamber, contrary to previous interpretations of magma storage and phenocryst growth in the lower crust.
Additional publication details
Comagmatic granophyric granite in the Fish Canyon Tuff, Colorado: Implications for magma-chamber processes during a large ash-flow eruption