238U-230Th dating of chevkinite in high-silica rhyolites from La Primavera and Yellowstone calderas

Chemical Geology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Application of 238U-230Th disequilibrium dating of accessory minerals with contrasting stabilities and compositions can provide a unique perspective on magmatic evolution by placing the thermochemical evolution of magma within the framework of absolute time. Chevkinite, a Th-rich accessory mineral that occurs in peralkaline and metaluminous rhyolites, may be particularly useful as a chronometer of crystallization and differentiation because its composition may reflect the chemical changes of its host melt. Ion microprobe 128U-230Th dating of single chevkinite microphenocrysts from pre- and post-caldera La Primavera, Mexico, rhyolites yields model crystallization ages that are within 10's of k.y. of their corresponding K-Ar ages of ca. 125 ka to 85 ka, while chevkinite microphenocrysts from a post-caldera Yellowstone, USA, rhyolite yield a range of ages from ca. 110 ka to 250 ka, which is indistinguishable from the age distribution of coexisting zircon. Internal chevkinite-zircon isochrons from La Primavera yield Pleistocene ages with ~5% precision due to the nearly two order difference in Th/U between both minerals. Coupling chevkinite 238U-230Th ages and compositional analyses reveals a secular trend of Th/U and rare earth elements recorded in Yellowstone rhyolite, likely reflecting progressive compositional evolution of host magma. The relatively short timescale between chevkinite-zircon crystallization and eruption suggests that crystal-poor rhyolites at La Primavera were erupted shortly after differentiation and/or reheating. These results indicate that 238U-230Th dating of chevkinite via ion microprobe analysis may be used to date crystallization and chemical evolution of silicic magmas.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title 238U-230Th dating of chevkinite in high-silica rhyolites from La Primavera and Yellowstone calderas
Series title Chemical Geology
Volume 390
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Publisher location New York, NY
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 109
Last page 118
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N