Chemical Analysis of Reaction Rims on Olivine Crystals in Natural Samples of Black Dacite Using Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy, Lassen Peak, CA.

Friday, 19 December 2014
Nathan Arrow Graham, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA, United States
Lassen Volcanic Center is the southernmost volcanic region in the Cascade volcanic arc formed by the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Lassen Peak last erupted in 1915 in an arc related event producing a black dacite material containing xenocrystic olivine grains with apparent orthopyroxene reaction rims. The reaction rims on these olivine grains are believed to have formed by reactions that ensued from a mixing/mingling event that occurred prior to eruption between the admixed mafic andesitic magma and a silicic dacite host material. Natural samples of the 1915 black dacite from Lassen Peak, CA were prepared into 15 polished thin sections and carbon coated for analysis using a FEI Quanta 250 Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) to identify and measure mineral textures and disequilibrium reaction rims. Observed mineralogical textures related to magma mixing include biotite and amphibole grains with apparent dehydration/breakdown rims, pyroxene-rimmed quartz grains, high concentration of microlites in glass matrix, and pyroxene/amphibole reaction rims on olivine grains. Olivine dissolution is evidenced as increased iron concentration toward convolute edges of olivine grains as observed by Backscatter Electron (BSE) imagery and elemental mapping using NSS spectral imaging software. In an attempt to quantify the area of reaction rim growth on olivine grains within these samples, high-resolution BSE images of 30 different olivine grains were collected along with Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDS) of different phases. Olivine cores and rims were extracted from BSE images using Photoshop and saved as separate image files. ImageJ software was used to calculate the area (µm2) of the core and rim of these grains. Average pyroxene reaction rim width for 30 grains was determined to be 11.68+/-1.65 µm. Rim widths of all 30 grains were averaged together to produce an overall average rim width for the Lassen Peak black dacite. By quantifying the reaction rims on olivine grains in the natural samples of Lassen Peak dacite as well as the bulk chemistry of the rock, this provides insight into the storage conditions of the magma chamber and the timing necessary for reactions to form these specific volcanic textures which in turn can be used as a basis for better understanding future experimental reconstruction of this magmatic system.