Formation of hybrid arc andesites beneath thick continental crust

Straub, S.M., Gomez-Tuena, A., Stuart, F.M. , Zellmer, G.F., Espinasa-Perena, R., Cai, Y. and Iizuka, Y. (2011) Formation of hybrid arc andesites beneath thick continental crust. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 303(3-4), pp. 337-347. (doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2011.01.013)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


Andesite magmatism at convergent margins is essential for the differentiation of silicate Earth, but no consensus exists as to andesite petrogenesis. Models proposing origin of primary andesite melts from mantle and/or slab materials remain in deadlock with the seemingly irrefutable petrographic and chemical evidence for andesite formation through mixing of basaltic mantle melts with silicic components from the overlying crust. Here we use 3He/4He ratios of high-Ni olivines to demonstrate the mantle origin of basaltic to andesitic arc magmas in the central Mexican Volcanic Belt (MVB) that is constructed on ~ 50 km thick continental crust. We propose that the central MVB arc magmas are hybrids of high-Mg# > 70 basaltic and dacitic initial mantle melts which were produced by melting of a peridotite subarc mantle interspersed with silica-deficient and silica-excess pyroxenite veins. These veins formed by infiltration of reactive silicic components from the subducting slab. Partial melts from pyroxenites, and minor component melts from peridotite, mix in variable proportions to produce high-Mg# basaltic, andesitic and dacitic magmas. Moderate fractional crystallization and recharge melt mixing in the overlying crust produces then the lower-Mg# magmas erupted. Our model accounts for the contrast between the arc-typical SiO2 variability at a given Mg# and the strong correlation between major element oxides SiO2, MgO and FeO which is not reproduced by mantle–crust mixing models. Our data further indicate that viscous high-silica mantle magmas may preferentially be emplaced as intrusive silicic plutonic rocks in the crust rather than erupt. Ultimately, our results imply a stronger turnover of slab and mantle materials in subduction zones with a negligible, or lesser dilution, by materials from the overlying crust.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Stuart, Professor Finlay
Authors: Straub, S.M., Gomez-Tuena, A., Stuart, F.M., Zellmer, G.F., Espinasa-Perena, R., Cai, Y., and Iizuka, Y.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Earth and Planetary Science Letters
ISSN (Online):1385-013X
Published Online:11 February 2011

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record