High-K mafic Plinian eruptions of Volcan de Colima, Mexico

Crummy, Julia M.; Savov, Ivan P.; Navarro-Ochoa, Carlos; Morgan, Daniel J.; Wilson, Majorie. 2014 High-K mafic Plinian eruptions of Volcan de Colima, Mexico. Journal of Petrology, 55 (11). 2155-2192.

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The last Plinian-type eruption of Volcán de Colima, Mexico, occurred in 1913; this resulted in the removal of the top 100 m of the edifice and the deposition of a tephra layer that blanketed the slopes of the Colima Volcanic Complex (CVC). Road-cuts on the flanks of the nearby Nevado de Colima edifice expose pre-1913 air-fall tephra, pyroclastic flow and ash-rich surge deposits resulting from numerous highly explosive events throughout the Holocene. The majority of the pumice and scoria fallout deposits are medium-K subalkaline basaltic andesite and andesite in composition, defining a clear major element differentiation trend. In contrast, three newly discovered scoria fallout deposits are high-K subalkaline, transitional to alkaline, basaltic andesite in composition and are characterized by the presence of phlogopite; these deposits have high MgO (up to 7·9 wt %), K2O (up to 2·6 wt %) and P2O5 (up to 0·67 wt %) contents. They are also strongly enriched in fluid- and melt-mobile large ion lithophile elements (LILE; Rb, Ba, K, Sr and Th) and light REE (LREE; La, Ce, Pr and Nd) relative to the majority of the Colima tephra fallout deposits. Strontium and Nd isotope systematics reveal that the high-K mafic scoria have more radiogenic Sr (87Sr/86Sr = 0·70365–0·70408) and less radiogenic Nd (143Nd/144Nd = 0·51279–0·51294) compared with the majority of the subalkaline tephras (87Sr/86Sr = 0·70338–0·70371 and 143Nd/144Nd = 0·51290–0·51295). Two-component mixing models, using whole-rock geochemical data, indicate the importance of magma mixing in the petrogenesis of the Colima magmas, with addition of up to 50% by volume of an alkaline mafic magma component in the most potassic magmas. This is supported by mineral chemistry and textural data, which reveal multiple episodes of decompression and magma mingling within a shallow crustal magma storage region. The presence of these potassic tephra fall deposits among the otherwise prevailing medium-K subalkaline stratigraphy indicates that pulses of K-rich alkaline mafic magmas periodically enter the CVC plumbing system on timescales of a few thousand years and may trigger Plinian explosive eruptions.

Item Type: Publication - Article
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ISSN: 0022-3530
Date made live: 17 Nov 2014 11:01 +0 (UTC)

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