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Hybrid character and pre-eruptive events of Mt Amiata volcano (Italy) inferred from geochronological, petro-geochemical and isotopic data

Abstract : A new geochronological and geochemical study was carried out to better constrain the petrogenesis and eruptive history of Monte Amiata, a large Pleistocene trachydacitic volcano of Southern Tuscany. Previous studies suggested a magma mixing origin between calc-alkaline silicic melts from the Tuscan Magmatic Province (TMP) and potassic mafic melts like those found in the Roman Magmatic Province (RMP). Two eruptive episodes-the first at ca. 300 kyr, the second at ca. 200 kyr-were distinguished from the few available ages. However, both the involvement of a RMP-like melt as mafic end-member and the timing of volcanic activity remained to be ascertained. The K-Ar ages obtained on plagioclase, sanidine and glass separated from Mt Amiata volcanic rocks demonstrate the sanidine is the most suitable phase for K-Ar dating. Sanidine yields ages of 304-293 kyr for the basal trachydacitic unit (BTC), 298-280 kyr in the domes unit (DLC) and unexpected older ages of 312-308 kyr for the more mafic summit lava unit (OLL). A careful re-examination of the literature ages together with those obtained in this study shows that they tend to a common age of ca. 300 kyr whatever the volcanic unit. We interpret this as a reset of the K-Ar chronometer in response to a consequent recharge of the silicic magma reservoir by hot mafic melts. This recharge most probably triggered the first volcanic eruption of Mt Amiata magmas. In our model, we suppose an initially chemically-stratified magma chamber; the input of deep hot mafic melts reset the crystals clock and probably allowed the eruption of the huge amount of trachydacitic crystal mush. We propose that the controversial BTC unit could have emplaced during a non-explosive eruption if we consider either pre-eruption passive degassing or extrusion of the trachydacites as magmatic foam. First Pb isotopic data of mafic enclaves from the trachydacitic units, together with major and trace elements and new Sr and Nd data support the magma mixing as the dominant process at the origin of the Mt Amiata volcanic rocks. The similar LILE/HFSE ratios evidenced in this contribution between the magmatic enclaves of Mt Amiata and RMP volcanic rocks, together with their comparable Sr, Nd and Pb isotopic compositions, definitively argue for the involvement of a RMP-like melt in the mixing. The Mt Amiata is thus indisputably a hybrid volcano between TMP and RMP in terms of petrogenesis and ages.
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Anita Cadoux, D.-L. Pinti. Hybrid character and pre-eruptive events of Mt Amiata volcano (Italy) inferred from geochronological, petro-geochemical and isotopic data. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Elsevier, 2009, 179 (3-4), pp.169-190. ⟨10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2008.10.018⟩. ⟨insu-00860319⟩

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