Fluorine and boron geochemistry of an ensialic marginal basin volcano: Deception Island, Bransfield Strait, Antarctica

We present the initial results of a quantitative investigation of the volatile geochemistry of Deception Island, an active volcano situated near the spreading axis of a Quaternary ensialic marginal basin (Bransfield Strait, northern Antarctic Peninsula). Fluorine contents in Deception Island magmas (112–461 ppm) are comparable with lavas from a range of tectonic environments but F-K2O relationships most closely compare with continental flood basalts and lavas from island arcs and some marginal basins. Boron contents are high (4.3–16.3 ppm) and the values overlap with those of arc lavas; they provide strong support for the presence of a mantle source component derived from the slab subducted at the coeval trench (by melting at the slab/wedge interface and/or during slab dehydration). Both F and B acted incompatibly in Deception Island magmas but there is significant variation in incompatible-element ratios such as K/F, K/B, P/F, P/B, which strongly suggests that the magmatic system was open to some or all of these elements during differentation. The variations in these ratios also provide evidence for the presence of at least two stages in the magmatic evolution of the volcano. During pre-caldera times, mafic magma was emplaced into the upper crust where it evolved and may have reacted with the crustal envelope, thus changing the contents of some or all of the elements F, B, K and P and their inter-element ratios. A later, large influx of hot, mafic magma into the chamber may have been responsible for a major eruption that ultimately led to the formation of the caldera. K/F, K/B, etc, ratios in the magma chamber were “reset” and subsequently continued to change, possibly by further crustal interaction during melt evolution in post-caldera times.


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Authors: Smellie, John L., Hofstetter, A., Troll, G.

1 February, 1992
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research / 49
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