The Complex History of Alarcon Rise Mid-Ocean Ridge Rhyolite Revealed through Mineral Chemistry
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
A suite of basalts to rhyolites recovered from the Alarcon Rise, the northern extension of the intermediate spreading-rate East Pacific Rise, provides an unparalleled test of established mechanisms for high-Si lava formation at ridges. Rhyolites are ≤35% phyric and poorly vesicular. Mafic xenoclasts are common, and plagioclase is the dominant phase. Olivine and clinopyroxene are also common, and orthopyroxene, FeTi-oxides, zircon, and rare pyrite blebs are present. Major and trace element glass data are consistent with MELTS models of fractional crystallization from a parental melt, but a diverse mineral population records added complexity. Olivine and plagioclase compositions are broadly consistent with models, with the exception of more variable Fo52-77 and An87-28 in a basaltic andesitic composition where pigeonite is predicted to replace olivine in the crystallizing assemblage between ~1085-1015°C; pigeonites analyzed in an andesite have lower Ca and Fe than predicted. Clinopyroxene variability generally increases with host melt SiO2, from Mg# 86-84 in basalts to Mg# 80-21 in rhyolites, and zoning is common with higher-MgO anhedral cores mantled by lower-MgO euhedral rims. Cooler magmas aided the preservation of disequilibrium and are supported by ~715-835°C Ti-in-zircon and ilmenite-magnetite thermometry in rhyolites. Despite a well-predicted liquid line of decent, multiple signals of chemical disequilibrium in intermediate to silicic melts support mixing of magmatic batches and/or assimilation of partially hydrous crust. Assimilation is permissible given δ18O values that are lower than expected solely from fractional crystallization (i.e., <6.3‰ at 77% SiO2), but assimilation extent is limited on the basis of δD ~82±8 and Pacific MORB-like 87Sr/86Sr. Zircon Hf-isotopes and trace element patterns support a juvenile oceanic crustal source. Whereas depleted Pacific MORB mantle source reservoir is supported by whole rock Sr-Nd isotopes, slight enrichments in zircon 176Hf/177Hf and whole rock 207,206Pb/204Pb may indicate an enriched MORB mantle component. In conclusion, mid-ocean rhyolite at Alarcon formed from a variety of petrogenetic processes including magma-mixing, assimilation, and crystallization following partial melting of slightly heterogeneous mantle source(s).