Unusual geologic and geochemical relations are preserved along the contact between intracaldera tuff and a resurgent intrusion within the 26.9 Ma Turkey Creek caldera of southeast Arizona. Thick intracaldera tuff is weakly argillically altered throughout, except in zones within several hundred meters of its contact with the resurgent intrusion, where the groundmass of the tuff has been variably converted to granophyre and unaltered sanidine phenocrysts are present. Dikes of similarly granophyric material originate at the tuff-resurgent intrusion contact and intrude overlying intracaldera megabreccia and tuff. Field relations indicate that the resurgent intrusion is a laccolith and that it caused local partial melting of adjacent intracaldera tuff. Geochemical and petrographic relations indicate that small volumes of partially melted intracaldera tuff assimilated and mixed with dacite of the resurgent intrusion along their contact, resulting in rocks that have petrographic and compositional characteristics transitional between those of tuff and dacite. Some of this variably contaminated, second-generation magma coalesced, was mobilized, and was intruded into overlying intracaldera rocks. Interpretation of the resurgent intrusion in the Turkey Creek and other calderas as intracaldera laccoliths suggests that intrusions of this type may be a common, but often unrecognized, feature of calderas. Development of granophyric and anatectic features such as those described here may be equally common in other calderas. The observations and previously undocumented processes described here can be applied to identification and interpretation of similarly enigmatic relations and rocks in other caldera systems. Integration of large-scale field mapping with detailed petrographic and chemical data has resulted in an understanding of otherwise intractable but petrologically important caldera-related features.
Additional publication details
Recrystallization and anatexis along the plutonic-volcanic contact of the Turkey Creek caldera, Arizona