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The role of an H2O-rich fluid component in the generation of primitive basaltic andesites and andesites from the Mt. Shasta region, N California

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  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science


This paper presents analyses of the trace element abundances and isotopic compositions in primitive lavas from the Mt. Shasta region, N California. These data are combined with estimates of pre-eruptive H2O contents and constraints from experimental petrology to develop a model of subduction zone magmatism. These lavas share geochemical characteristics of high-Mg andesites from the Setouchi volcanic belt in SW Japan and Adak-type high-Mg andesites of the western Aleutian arc. Estimates of the pre-eruptive water contents of the Shasta region lavas range from <1 to >8 wt % H2O. The pre-eruptive H2O content and an inferred melt of a harzburgitic residue are used to carry out a mass balance for the relative contributions from a mantle-derived melt and slab-derived fluid-rich component. We assume that elements are contributed either from melting of mantle peridotite or from a subduction-related fluid-rich component. Estimated fluid-rich component compositions are characterized by strong light rare earth element (LREE) enrichments ([La/Gd]N=3 to 7) and variable heavy rare earth element (HREE) depletions ([Dy/Yb]N=1 to 3). Sr and Ba abundances vary by approximately a factor of 2.5 in the fluid compositions calculated for the Mt. Shasta region lavas and large ion lithophile element (LILE) abundances are similar to those calculated by Stolper and Newman (1994) and Eiler et al. (2000). The major elements in the fluid-rich component are H2O (~55-68 wt%), Na2O (~25-33 wt%) and K2O (~5-13 wt%). This composition may be that of a supercritical fluid or a low-degree melt of the slab that has reacted with the overlying mantle wedge. Although the slab beneath Mt. Shasta is inferred to be hot (~600 - 650 °C), the calculated fluid-rich components do not resemble a pure slab melt. The calculated isotopic composition of the fluid-rich component is bimodal. One component has 87Sr/86Sr=0.7028 and )Nd=+8, and is most similar to a MORB source. The second component has more radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr=0.7038 and )Nd=+1 and is most similar to a sediment. These fluid-rich components probably represent a mixture of fluids and melts from the slab (serpentinized mantle, altered basalt, and sediment).

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