Constraints on the behaviour and content of volatiles in Galápagos magmas from melt inclusions and nominally anhydrous minerals

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Matthew Lloyd Morgan Gleeson , Sally Gibson , Michael Stock


Despite their relatively low concentration in most oceanic basalts, volatile species (e.g. H2O, CO2 and S) have a disproportionately large influence on a wide range of mantle and magmatic processes. However, constraining the concentration of H2O (and other volatiles) in basaltic magmas is not straightforward as submarine glass analyses are influenced by assimilation of hydrothermal brines, and the melt inclusion record is often reset by post-entrapment processes. Nevertheless, in this study we show that it is possible to reconstruct a detailed history of the volatile content of basaltic magmas through integration of multiple discreet volatile records and careful consideration of secondary processes. We present new analyses of volatiles in olivine-hosted melt inclusions, melt embayments and nominally anhydrous minerals (NAMS, clinopyroxene and orthopyroxene) found in basalts erupted on Floreana Island in the south-eastern Galápagos Archipelago. Our results indicate that the Floreana magmas, which are characterised by the most radiogenic Pb and Sr isotope signatures in the Galápagos Archipelago, contain H2O concentrations between 0.4 and 0.8 wt% (at a melt Mg# of 0.65, where Mg# = Mg/(Mg + Fe) molar). These are marginally greater than the H2O contents of magmas beneath Fernandina in the western Galápagos Archipelago (cf. 0.2–0.7 wt% H2O at Mg# = 0.65). While the volatile content of magmas from the western archipelago follow trends defined by concurrent mixing and crystallisation, NAMs from Floreana reveal the presence of rare, volatile-rich magmas (~2 wt% H2O) that form as a consequence of reactive porous flow in mush-dominated magmatic systems beneath the south-eastern Galápagos. Furthermore, the Floreana magmas have similar H2O/light Rare Earth Element ratios to basalts from the western Galápagos but contain F/Nd and Cl/K ratios that are ~2 – 3 times greater, indicating that the mantle source of the Floreana lavas might represent an important halogen reservoir in the Galápagos mantle plume.



Physical Sciences and Mathematics




Published: 2021-10-30 01:28

Last Updated: 2021-10-30 08:28


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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