The geology and geochemistry of Isla Floreana, Galápagos: A different type of late-stage ocean island volcanism

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Edited by: Karen S. HarppEric MittelstaedtNoémi d'Ozouville, and David W. Graham



Isla Floreana, the southernmost volcano in the Galápagos Archipelago, has erupted a diverse suite of alkaline basalts continually since 1.5 Ma. Because these basalts have different compositions than xenoliths and older lavas from the deep submarine sector of the volcano, Floreana is interpreted as being in a rejuvenescent or late-stage phase of volcanism. Most lavas contain xenoliths, or their disaggregated remains. The xenolithic debris and large ranges in composition, including during single eruptions, indicate that the magmas do not reside in crustal magma chambers, unlike magmas in the western Galápagos. Floreana lavas have distinctive trace element compositions that are rich in fluid-immobile elements (e.g., Ta, Nb, Th, Zr) and even richer in fluid-mobile elements (e.g., Ba, Sr, Pb). Rare earth element (REE) patterns are light REE-enriched and distinctively concave-up. Neodymium isotopic ratios are comparable to those from Fernandina, at the core of the Galápagos plume, but Floreana has the most radiogenic Sr and Pb isotopic ratios in the archipelago. These trace element patterns and isotopic ratios are attributed to a mixed source originating within the Galápagos plume, which includes depleted upper mantle, plume material rich in TITAN elements (Ti, Ta, Nb), and recycled oceanic crust that has undergone partial dehydration in an ancient subduction zone. Because Floreana lies at the periphery of the Galápagos plume, melting occurs mostly in the spinel zone, and enriched components dominate; the Floreana recycled mantle component influence is detectable in volcanoes along the entire southern periphery of the archipelago as well. Floreana is the only Galápagos volcano known to have undergone late-stage volcanism. Here, however, the secondary stage activity is more compositionally enriched than the shield-building phase, in contrast to what is observed in Hawai‘i, suggesting that the mechanism driving late-stage volcanism may vary among ocean island provinces.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title The geology and geochemistry of Isla Floreana, Galápagos: A different type of late-stage ocean island volcanism
Chapter 6
DOI 10.1002/9781118852538.ch6
Volume 204
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 47 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title The Galápagos: A natural laboratory for the earth sciences
First page 71
Last page 117
Country Ecuador
Other Geospatial Galápagos, Isla Floreana
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