Northeastern Section - 54th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 23-2
Presentation Time: 8:20 AM


CARLEY, Tamara L., Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, Lafayette College, Easton, PA 18042, MILLER, Calvin F., Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, PADILLA, Abraham De Jesus, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, BANIK, Tenley J., Dept. of Geography, Geology, and the Environment, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790, SCHMITT, Axel K., Institute of Earth Sciences, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, 69120, Germany and ECONOMOS, Rita C., Southern Methodist University, Geological Sciences, 3225 Daniel, Heroy 207, Dallas, TX 75275

Iceland is distinctive among oceanic islands for its thick crust, magmatic productivity, abundant silicic magmatism, and isotopically light oxygen compositions of rocks, minerals, and magmas. Zircon provides a robust record of O isotope compositions of melts from which it crystallizes, as it is resistant to alteration and re-equilibration. We use zircon to investigate silicic magma genesis and how it may have varied through Iceland’s history (15 Ma – present). Four clear characteristics of Icelandic δ18Ozrc are evident: [1] a majority of analyses are in the range 2-5‰ (1075 of 1253 analyses); [2] zircon crystals from active volcanoes where tectonic settings are evident reveal that on-rift volcanoes have lighter O compositions than those at off-rift volcanoes (medians: ~1.5 vs 4.0‰, respectively); [3] when binned by age, the δ18Ozrc median is remarkably consistent at 3.0-3.2‰ from 15 Ma until the late Pleistocene; [4] since ~0.7 Ma, the upper end of the δ18Ozrc range is unchanged, but the median falls to ~2.0‰ and very low values are far more common (42 of 57 volcanic δ18Ozrc values ≤ 1 ‰ are < 0.7 Ma). The most drastic change appears to have occurred at ~0.2 Ma and since that time, median on-rift δ18Ozrc is ~1.0‰. Characteristics [1] and [2] are consistent with previous interpretations that silicic magmas are generated both from juvenile magma by closed system processes (higher δ18O), and via anatexis or substantial assimilation of altered crust (lower δ18O; e.g. Martin & Sigmarsson 2010). Characteristic [3] suggests that this has been the case throughout Icelandic history, and that δ18O of juvenile magmas remained consistent. Characteristic [4] reveals that, as δ18O of meteoric water fell during glaciation, so did the δ18O of hydrothermally altered crust involved in on-rift anatexis and assimilation. Late Pleistocene and Holocene silicic magmas formed by closed-system fractionation (e.g., Oraefajökull) retain a relatively heavy signature (δ18Ozrc ≥ ~4‰), whereas magmas formed by anatexis or extensive assimilation of distinctively low δ18O crust are now more common (e.g., Krafla, Torfajökull, d18Ozrc ≤ 1.5‰). The data indicate a lag of ca. 3 Myr between onset of “light” (syn-glaciation) meteoric waters and initial magmatic signal of their effect on the crust.