Evidence for a Dying Magma Chamber at Rábida Island, Galápagos
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Rábida Island in the Galapagos has experienced both explosive and effusive volcanism. It is located to the east of the most active volcanoes of the Galapagos, and previously determined ages range from 0.9 to 1.1 Ma. An unusually curved escarpment cuts the western sector of the island, which might be part of a caldera wall, although its radius of curvature is much greater than that of the island. Lavas range from basalt to rhyolite, and there are also several intermediate compositions, which are unique in the archipelago. A welded ignimbrite crops out in northeast sector, the only such deposit known in the entire region. The volumetric proportion of evolved rocks is unusually high; 25% of the rocks in our comprehensive sample set are intermediate to felsic. The siliceous rocks occur in two clusters in the southern and southwestern sections of the island, suggesting two separate sources. The intermediate rocks are concentrated in the center and northwestern parts of the island. Despite these foci of more siliceous lavas, basalt is the most widespread rock type across the island. It is notable that Rabida is immediately east of Volcan Alcedo, which is the only active Galápagos volcano that has also erupted rhyolite, and south of Santiago Island, which erupted the trachyte dome observed by Charles Darwin in 1835. These observations, in conjunction with the cumulate xenoliths observed in Rábida explosive deposits, are consistent with the evolved rocks resulting from fractional crystallization of a dying magma chamber, as the volcano is carried away from the hotspot.