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Upper Mantle Mush Zones beneath Low Melt Flux Ocean Island Volcanoes: Insights from Isla Floreana, Galápagos

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Gleeson, MLM 
Gibson, SA 
Stock, MJ 


jats:titleAbstract</jats:title> jats:pThe physicochemical characteristics of sub-volcanic magma storage regions have important implications for magma system dynamics and pre-eruptive behaviour. The architecture of magma storage regions located directly above high buoyancy flux mantle plumes (such as Kīlauea, Hawai’i and Fernandina, Galápagos) are relatively well understood. However, far fewer constraints exist on the nature of magma storage beneath ocean island volcanoes that are distal to the main zone of mantle upwelling or above low buoyancy flux plumes, despite these systems representing a substantial proportion of ocean island volcanism globally. To address this, we present a detailed petrological study of Isla Floreana in the Galápagos Archipelago, which lies at the periphery of the upwelling mantle plume and is thus characterized by an extremely low flux of magma into the lithosphere. Detailed in situ major and trace element analyses of crystal phases within exhumed cumulate xenoliths, lavas and scoria deposits indicate that the erupted crystal cargo is dominated by disaggregated crystal-rich material (i.e. mush or wall rock). Trace element disequilibria between cumulus phases and erupted melts, as well as trace element zoning within the xenolithic clinopyroxenes, reveal that reactive porous flow (previously identified beneath mid-ocean ridges) is an important process of melt transport within crystal-rich magma storage regions. In addition, application of three petrological barometers reveals that the Floreana mush zones are located in the upper mantle, at a depth of 23·7 ± 5·1 km. Our barometric results are compared with recent studies of high melt flux volcanoes in the western Galápagos, and other ocean island volcanoes worldwide, and demonstrate that the flux of magma from the underlying mantle source represents a first-order control on the depth and physical characteristics of magma storage.</jats:p>



Galapagos, magma storage, reactive porous flow, barometry

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Journal of Petrology

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Oxford University Press (OUP)


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NERC (1772906)
NERC (NE/L002507/1)