• Multi-stage arc magma evolution recorded by apatite in volcanic rocks

      Nathwani, Chetan; Loader, MA; Wilkinson, JJ; Buret, Y; Sievwright, RH; Hollings, P (Geological Society of America, 2020-01-17)
      Protracted magma storage in the deep crust is a key stage in the formation of evolved, hydrous arc magmas that can result in explosive volcanism and the formation of economically valuable magmatic-hydrothermal ore deposits. High magmatic water content in the deep crust results in extensive amphibole ± garnet fractionation and the suppression of plagioclase crystallization as recorded by elevated Sr/Y ratios and high Eu (high Eu/Eu*) in the melt. Here, we use a novel approach to track the petrogenesis of arc magmas using apatite trace element chemistry in volcanic formations from the Cenozoic arc of central Chile. These rocks formed in a magmatic cycle that culminated in high-Sr/Y magmatism and porphyry ore deposit formation in the Miocene. We use Sr/Y, Eu/Eu*, and Mg in apatite to track discrete stages of arc magma evolution. We apply fractional crystallization modeling to show that early-crystallizing apatite can inherit a high-Sr/Y and high-Eu/Eu* melt chemistry signature that is predetermined by amphibole-dominated fractional crystallization in the lower crust. Our modeling shows that crystallization of the in situ host-rock mineral assemblage in the shallow crust causes competition for trace elements in the melt that leads to apatite compositions diverging from bulk-magma chemistry. Understanding this decoupling behavior is important for the use of apatite as an indicator of metallogenic fertility in arcs and for interpretation of provenance in detrital studies.
    • Petrographic and chemical studies of the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary sequence at El Guayal, Tabasco, Mexico: Implications for ejecta plume evolution from the Chicxulub impact crater

      Salge, T; Tagle, Roald; Schmitt, Ralf-Thomas; Hecht, Lutz; Wolf Uwe, Reimold; Chris, Koeberl (Geological Society of America, 2021-06-30)
      A combined petrographic and chemical study of ejecta particles from the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary sequence of El Guayal, Tabasco, Mexico (520 km SW of Chicxulub crater), was carried out to assess their formation conditions and genetic relation during the impact process. The reaction of silicate ejecta particles with hot volatiles during atmospheric transport may have induced alteration processes, e.g., silicification and cementation, observed in the ejecta deposits. The various microstructures of calcite ejecta particles are interpreted to reflect different thermal histories at postshock conditions. Spherulitic calcite particles may represent carbonate melts that were quenched during ejection. A recrystallized microstructure may indicate short, intense thermal stress. Various aggregates document particle-particle interactions and intermixing of components from lower silicate and upper sedimentary target lithologies. Aggregates of recrystallized calcite with silicate melt indicate the consolidation of a hot suevitic component with sediments at ≳750 °C. Accretionary lapilli formed in a turbulent, steam-condensing environment at ~100 °C by aggregation of solid, ash-sized particles. Concentric zones with smaller grain sizes of accreted particles indicate a recurring exchange with a hotter environment. Our results suggest that during partial ejecta plume collapse, hot silicate components were mixed with the fine fraction of local surface-derived sediments, the latter of which were displaced by the preceding ejecta curtain. These processes sustained a hot, gas-driven, lateral basal transport that was accompanied by a turbulent plume at a higher level. The exothermic back-reaction of CaO from decomposed carbonates and sulfates with CO2 to form CaCO3 may have been responsible for a prolonged release of thermal energy at a late stage of plume evolution.
    • The role of arc migration in the development of the Lesser Antilles: A new tectonic model for the Cenozoic evolution of the eastern Caribbean

      Allen, RW; Collier, JS; Stewart, AG; Henstock, T; Goes, S; Rietbrock, A; Wilkinson, JJ (Geological Society of America, 2019-08-12)
      Continental arc systems often show evidence of large-scale migration both toward and away from the incoming plate. In oceanic arc systems, however, while slab roll-back and the associated processes of backarc spreading and arc migration toward the incoming plate are commonplace, arc migration away from the incoming plate is rarely observed. We present a new compilation of marine magnetic anomaly and seismic data in order to propose a new tectonic model for the eastern Caribbean region that includes arc migration in both directions. We synthesized new evidence to show two phases of backarc spreading and eastward arc migration toward the incoming Atlantic. A third and final phase of arc migration to the west subdivided the earlier backarc basin on either side of the present-day Lesser Antilles arc. This is the first example of regional multidirectional arc migration in an intra-oceanic setting, and it has implications for along-arc structural and geochemical variations. The back and forth arc migrations were probably due to the constraints imposed by the neighboring American plates on this isolated subduction system, rather than variations in subducting slab buoyancy.