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The origin and crust/mantle mass balance of Central Andean ignimbrite magmatism constrained by oxygen and strontium isotopes and erupted volumes

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Freymuth, Heye; Brandmeier, Melanie
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Volcanism during the Neogene in the Central Volcanic Zone (CVZ) of the Andes produced (1) stratovolcanoes, (2) rhyodacitic to rhyolitic ignimbrites which reach volumes of generally less than 300 km3 and (3) large-volume monotonous dacitic ignimbrites of up to several thousand cubic kilometres. We present models for the origin of these magma types using O and Sr isotopes to constrain crust/mantle proportions for the large-volume ignimbrites and explore the relationship to the evolution of the Andean crust. Oxygen isotope ratios were measured on phenocrysts in order to avoid the effects of secondary alteration. Our results show a complete overlap in the Sr--O isotope compositions of lavas from stratovolcanoes and low-volume rhyolitic ignimbrites as well as older (>9 Ma) large-volume dacitic ignimbrites. This suggests that the mass balance of crustal and mantle components are largely similar. By contrast, younger (a−1 km−1 (assuming plutonic/volcanic ratios of 1:5) which are additional to, but within the order of, the arc background magmatic flux. Comparing our results to average shortening rates observed in the Andes, we observe a ``lag-time'' with large-volume eruptions occurring after accelerated shortening. A similar delay exists between the ignimbrite pulses and the subduction of the Juan Fernandez ridge. This is consistent with the idea that large-volume ignimbrite eruptions occurred in the wake of the N--S passage of the ridge after slab steepening has allowed hot asthenospheric mantle to ascend into and cause the melting of the mantle wedge. In our model, the older large-volume dacitic ignimbrites in the northern part of the CVZ have lower (15--37 \%) crustal contributions because they were produced at times when the Central Andean crust was thinner and colder, and large-scale melting in the middle crust could not be achieved. Younger ignimbrite flare-ups further south (22{\textdegree}S) formed with a significantly higher crustal contribution (22--68 \%) because at that time the Andean crust was thicker and hotter and, therefore primed for more extensive crustal melting. The rhyolitic lower-volume ignimbrites are more equally distributed in the CVZ in time and space and are produced by mechanisms similar to those operating below large stratovolcanoes, but at times of higher melt fluxes from the mantle wedge.


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