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  1. Abstract We investigate the shallow plumbing system of the Deccan Traps Large Igneous Province using rock and mineral data from Giant Plagioclase Basalt (GPB) lava flows from around the entire province, but with a focus on the Saurashtra Peninsula, the Malwa Plateau, and the base and top of the Western Ghats (WG) lava pile. GPB lavas in the WG typically occur at the transition between chemically distinct basalt formations. Most GPB samples are evolved basalts, with high Fe and Ti contents, and show major and trace elements and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic compositions generally similar to those of previously studied Deccan basalts. Major element modeling suggests that high-Fe, evolved melts typical of GPB basalts may derive from less evolved Deccan basalts by low-pressure fractional crystallization in a generally dry magmatic plumbing system. The basalts are strongly porphyritic, with 6–25% of mm- to cm-sized plagioclase megacrysts, frequently occurring as crystal clots, plus relatively rare olivine and clinopyroxene. The plagioclase crystals are mostly labradoritic, but some show bytownitic cores (general range of anorthite mol%: 78–55). A common feature is a strong Fe enrichment at the plagioclase rims, indicating interaction with an Fe-rich melt similar to that represented by the matrix compositions (FeOt up tomore »16–17 wt%). Plagioclase minor and trace elements and Sr isotopic compositions analyzed by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry show evidence of a hybrid and magma mixing origin. In particular, several plagioclase crystals show variable 87Sr/86Sri, which only partially overlaps with the 87Sr/86Sri of the surrounding matrix. Diffusion modeling suggests residence times of decades to centuries for most plagioclase megacrysts. Notably, some plagioclase crystal clots show textural evidence of deformation as recorded by electron back-scatter diffraction analyses and chemical maps, which suggest that the plagioclase megacrysts were deformed in a crystal-rich environment in the presence of melt. We interpret the plagioclase megacrysts as remnants of a crystal mush originally formed in the shallow plumbing system of the Deccan basalts. In this environment, plagioclase acquired a zoned composition due to the arrival of chemically distinct basaltic magmas. Prior to eruption, a rapidly rising but dense Fe-rich magma was capable of disrupting the shallow level crystal mush, remobilizing part of it and carrying a cargo of buoyant plagioclase megacrysts. Our findings suggest that basaltic magmas from the Deccan Traps, and possibly from LIPs in general, are produced within complex transcrustal magmatic plumbing systems with widespread crystal mushes developed in the shallow crust.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2023
  2. Abstract

    The processes and ranges of intensive variables that control magma transport and dyke propagation through the crust are poorly understood. Here we show that textural and compositional data of olivine crystals (Mg/Fe, Ni and P) from the tephra of the first months of Paricutin volcano monogenetic eruption (Mexico, 1943–1952) record fast growth and large temperature and oxygen fugacity gradients. We interpret that these gradients are due to convective magma transport in a propagating dyke to the Earth’s surface in less than a few days. The shortest time we have obtained is 0.1 day, and more than 50% of the calculated timescales are < 2 days for the earliest erupted tephra, which implies magma ascent rates of about 0.1 and 1 m s−1. The olivine zoning patterns change with the eruptive stratigraphy, and record a transition towards a more steady magma flow before the transition from explosive to effusive dynamics. Our results can inform numerical and experimental analogue models of dyke propagation, and thus facilitate a better understanding of the seismicity and other precursors of dyke-fed eruptions.

  3. Abstract

    Volatile element concentrations measured in melt inclusions are a key tool used to understand magma migration and degassing, although their original values may be affected by different re-equilibration processes. Additionally, the inclusion-bearing crystals can have a wide range of origins and ages, further complicating the interpretation of magmatic processes. To clarify some of these issues, here we combined olivine diffusion chronometry and melt inclusion data from the 2008 eruption of Llaima volcano (Chile). We found that magma intrusion occurred about 4 years before the eruption at a minimum depth of approximately 8 km. Magma migration and reaction became shallower with time, and about 6 months before the eruption magma reached 3–4 km depth. This can be linked to reported seismicity and ash emissions. Although some ambiguities of interpretation still remain, crystal zoning and melt inclusion studies allow a more complete understanding of magma ascent, degassing, and volcano monitoring data.