Petrogenetic connections between volcanic rocks and intrusive suites in the California arc - toward an integrated model for upper-crustal magma system evolution
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Volcanic and clastic sedimentary rocks in deeply eroded, predominantly plutonic arcs provide records of arc development and the links between volcanic and plutonic processes. We are analyzing existing and new geochronologic and petrologic data from volcanic breccias, ignimbrites and intrusive suites in the Sierra Nevada and Mojave Desert sectors of the Mesozoic California arc, in an effort to construct an integrated volcano-plutonic model for silicic magmatism in arc upper crust. SIMS and TIMS U-Pb zircon ages, immobile element abundances in whole rocks, and trace element abundances in zircons allow us to interpret the magmatic heritage of ignimbrites and components of underlying granodioritic to granitic intrusive suites. Preliminary results suggest several conclusions: (1) first-order magma production was episodic, with plutonic, forearc and retro-arc detrital zircons defining three magmatic pulses of ~40-60 m.y. duration that are largely mimicked by the more limited record of zircons in ignimbrites; (2) in the Triassic and Jurassic, second-order pulses on 2-10 m.y. time scales are recorded in both the intrusive and ignimbrite records, suggesting that eruption of ignimbrites was synchronous at the shortest resolvable time scales with assembly of underlying incrementally emplaced intrusive suites; (3) ignimbrites range from dacite to rhyolite in bulk composition, and are petrographically similar to modern “monotonous intermediate” dacite or phenocryst-poor low-silica rhyolite; (4) these tuffs are as fractionated as intrusive rocks, and commonly, though not always, contain zircons with similarly complex, multi-stage growth histories. Thus ignimbrites and felsic granodiorites in this arc are complementary elements recording lengthy and episodic evolutionary histories in cool and hydrous upper-crustal arc magma systems.