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Timescales of magmatic differentiation from alkali basalt to trachyte within the Harrat Rahat volcanic field, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

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https://doi.org/10.1007/s00410-018-1495-9

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Abstract

A fundamental goal of igneous petrology is to quantify the duration of time required to produce evolved magmas following influx of basalt into the crust. However, in many cases, complex field relations and/or the presence of a long-lived magmatic system make it difficult to assess how basaltic inputs relate to more evolved magmas, therefore, precluding calculation of meaningful timescales. Here, we present field relations, geochemistry, 40Ar/39Ar ages, and 36Cl ages for volcanic rocks from the Harrat Rahat volcanic field, Saudi Arabia. These data document a systematic and repeated temporal progression from alkali basalt to trachyte for the youngest eruptives. From ~ 150 to ~ 17 ka the following eruptive sequence occurred four times: (1) alkali basalt, (2) hawaiite, mugearite, or benmoreite, and (3) trachyte. We interpret each eruptive sequence to result from injection of basalt into the crust, and its subsequent differentiation and eruption of progressively evolved magmas. We use the interval time between successive eruptions within a given sequence to calculate the duration of time required to produce trachyte from alkali basalt. Differentiation from alkali basalt to intermediate compositions (hawaiite, mugearite, benmoreite) took ≤ 2 kyr on average. Differentiation from intermediate compositions to trachyte took a maximum of 6.6 ± 3.5 to 22.5 ± 1.6 kyr. Thus, the total duration of differentiation was ~ 9 to ~ 25 kyr. Timescales presented here are insensitive to processes evoked to drive differentiation because they are based solely on the ages and compositions of eruptive products from a system characterized by a simple, repeated differentiation sequence.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Timescales of magmatic differentiation from alkali basalt to trachyte within the Harrat Rahat volcanic field, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Series title:
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
DOI:
10.1007/s00410-018-1495-9
Volume:
173
Year Published:
2018
Language:
English
Publisher:
Springer
Contributing office(s):
Volcano Science Center
Description:
Article 68; 17 p.
First page:
1
Last page:
17
Country:
Saudi Arabia
Other Geospatial:
Harrat Rahat volcanic field