GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 19-6
Presentation Time: 9:40 AM


LEMASURIER, Wesley E., Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado at Boulder, Campus Box 450, Boulder, CO 80309-0450,

The Marie Byrd Land (MBL) province includes five volcanoes that have produced pantellerites, and three that have produced comendites since ~14 Ma. Together they display a range in SiO2, Al2O3, FeOt, and peralkalinity that exceeds the range of compositions in Pantelleria, Kenya and Ethiopia. Pantellerite volcanoes occur mainly in the western part of the province, widely separated from the more centrally located comendites. Isotopic and trace element data, maintenance of isotopic equilibrium throughout the basalt-felsic spectrum, major and trace element modeling, all indicate <1% crustal contamination and point to fractional crystallization (FC) control in the origins of the felsic rocks. Basalts in several stages of evolution, together with mugearites, benmoreites and trachytes, allow modeling of felsic rock evolution in several stages. The results suggest that polybaric FC in a multi-tiered plumbing system provides the best explanation of field, petrographic and geochemical characteristics of these rocks. 

The most common basaltic rock, and the only one associated with pantellerites and comendites, is basanite (normative nepheline = 3-10%). Modeling suggests that fractionating kaersutite from basanite at the base of the crust will yield a silica-oversaturated magma. Peralkalinity evolves by fractionating a high proportion of plagioclase/clinopyroxene in shallow crustal magma chambers under low PH2O. Conditions that yield pantellerite in some volcanoes vs. comendite in others are uncertain. Prolonged fractionation of kaersutite at the base of the crust, for comendites, vs. a comparatively short residency and less kaersutite fractionation for pantellerites, could explain the higher SiO2 and lower FeOt of comendites, and the wide spatial separation of these two rhyolite species. However, FC at low fO2 for pantellerites and higher fO2for comendites cannot be ruled out. Modeling so far has yielded ambiguous results. The evolution of peralkaline phonolite, sometimes from the same edifice as pantellerite, probably takes place when basanite magma rises rapidly to a shallow crustal reservoir and differentiates to phonolite. Multiple small magma chambers seem to be required to produce these diverse rock types, essentially contemporaneously, from the same edifice.