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A geochemical study of Nea-Kameni hyalodacites (Santorini Volcano, Aegean island arc). Inferences concerning the origin and effects of solfataras and magmatic evolution

Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0377-0273(84)90065-9
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Geography


Abstract Since the Santorini Volcano (Aegean arc, eastern Mediterranean Sea) collapsed, volcanic activity has been located at the center of the flooded caldera. Over the past 800 years, five lava flows have formed one of the central islets (Nea-Kameni). Since 1951, when the last eruption occurred, a permanent fumarolic activity has remained. We present chemical analyses (major elements, trace-elements and Sr isotopic ratios) of ten samples from the five hyalodacitic lava flows, showing different stages of alteration, from a completely fresh lava up to one bearing native sulfur and other sublimates. Only the macroscopic aspect of these hyalodacites is affected by fumarolic activity. The elements that are mobile as a result of hydrothermal processes, such as the alkaline (K, Rb) or the chalcophile elements (Zn, Pb), show great homogeneity; the same can be said for the Sr isotopic compositions which range from 0.7046 to 0.7049. None of the analyzed samples has an Sr isotopic composition as high as those reported by Puchelt and Hoefs (1971) for rock samples collected in the same lava flows. If we take into account the marine surroundings of Nea-Kameni islet, these observations put severe restraints on the different hypotheses regarding the origin of the halogens (seawater or meteoric water). The contamination processes of these dacitic lavas are clearly less important than assumed by other authors according to previous Sr isotopic data. Finally, the homogeneity of the elements with low partition coefficients is sufficient to show that the magma has not undergone any perceptible evolution during the last 300 years.

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