Magmatic architecture below the Okataina Volcanic Centre, Taupō Volcanic Zone, Aotearoa New Zealand, inferred from basalt geochemistry

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Ery Catherine Hughes, Sally Law, Geoff Kilgour, Jon Blundy, Heidy Mader


The Okataina Volcanic Centre (OVC) is the most recently active rhyolitic volcanic centre in the Taupō Volcanic Zone, Aotearoa New Zealand. Although best known for its high rates of explosive rhyolitic volcanism, there are numerous examples of basaltic to basaltic-andesite contributions to OVC eruptions, ranging from minor involvement of basalt in rhyolitic eruptions to the exclusively basaltic 1886 C.E. Plinian eruption of Tarawera. To explore the basaltic component supplying this dominantly rhyolitic area, we analyse the textures and compositions (minerals and melt inclusions) of four basaltic eruptions within the OVC that have similar whole rock chemistry, namely: Terrace Rd, Rotomakariri, Rotokawau, and Tarawera. Data from these basaltic deposits provide constraints on the conditions of magma evolution and ascent in the crust prior to eruption, revealing that at least five different magma types (two basalts, two dacites, one rhyolite) are sampled during basaltic eruptions. The most abundant basaltic magma type is generated by cooling-induced crystallisation of a common, oxidised, basaltic melt at various depths throughout the crust. The volatile content of this melt was increased by protracted fluid-undersaturated crystallisation. All eruptions display abundant evidence for syn-eruptive mixing of the different magma types. Rotomakariri, consisting of a mafic crystal cargo mixed into a dacitic magma is the most extreme example of this process. Despite similar bulk compositions, comparable to other basaltic deposits in the region, these four OVC eruptions are texturally distinct as a consequence of their wide variation in eruption style.



Physical Sciences and Mathematics


geochemistry, Tarawera, Terrace Rd, Rotomakariri, Rotokawau, melt inclusion


Published: 2021-08-08 06:07

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