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Bulk-rock geochemistry and plagioclase zoning in lavas exposed along the northern flank of the Western Blanco Depression (Northeast Pacific): Insight into open-system magma chamber processes

Abstract : The present study is based on a set of lavas and crosscutting dikes collected by dives along detailed vertical transects on the northern flank of the western part of the Blanco Transform Fault, Northeast Pacific. The studied area consists of a small basin, the Western Blanco Depression (WBD), extending from the southern end of the Juan de Fuca ridge to a pseudofault trace 60 km eastward. The Northern Scarp of the WBD comprises a volcanic unit overlying a sheeted-dike complex. Major and trace element data, coupled with Sr–Nd isotope ratios, reveal a two-component mantle source, composed by an isotopically depleted matrix variably veined by more enriched material. One chemical group (NS2), indistinguishable from the other Northern Scarp samples on the basis of trace element data, has an unusually depleted isotopic composition typical of a nearly pure mantle end-member. Some cogenetic samples of the Northern Scarp have been used to constrain the differentiation modalities. Anorthite and MgO content profiles in plagioclase xenocrysts and phenocrysts reveal (i) the existence of H2O-bearing evolved melts in the mushy zones and (ii) the occurrence of mixing process between these melts and anhydrous mafic liquids. The hydration is supported by other petrographic features such as high magmatic fO2 values, calculated from Fe–Ti oxide pairs, and the presence of pyroxene inclusions in plagioclase phenocrysts. Mixing, consistent with the existence of Ni-rich ferrobasalts, is interpreted to be the consequence of the reservoir refilling by mafic liquids (Mg# = 70). These petrological and geochemical evidences are combined with the evolution of Mg# with depth to suggest a periodic open-system magma chamber evolution beneath the southern end of the Juan de Fuca ridge.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 10:34:21 AM
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Carole Cordier, Martial Caroff, Thierry Juteau, Corinne Fleutelot, Christophe Hémond, et al.. Bulk-rock geochemistry and plagioclase zoning in lavas exposed along the northern flank of the Western Blanco Depression (Northeast Pacific): Insight into open-system magma chamber processes. Lithos, Elsevier, 2007, 99 (3-4), pp.289-311. ⟨10.1016/j.lithos.2007.06.009⟩. ⟨insu-00213426⟩

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