Magma Mixing in Undersaturated Alkaline Volcanics, Cantal, Massif Central, France

H. Downes
Department of Geology, Birkbeck College, University of London, 7-15 Gresse St., London W1P 1PA, U.K.

Abstract: Several examples of magma mixing exist within the undersaturated alkaline magma series of the Tertiary/Quaternary volcanics in the French Massif Central. This study describes magma mixing in the Puy Griou/Griounot area of the Cantal volcano (10-3 Ma). Petrographic evidence for injection of blebs of basic magma into phonolitic host magmas is abundant (cauliform inclusions, liquid-liquid contacts, vesiculation and chilling). Compositions of the inclusions are basic tephrite, whereas the hosts are miaskitic phonolites. Petrographic examination reveals the presence of disequilibrium mineralogical features (e.g. Mg-rich olivine in phonolites) and strong zoning in many clinopyroxenes. Transfer of phenocrysts between basic inclusions and phonolite hosts was common, and can be seen clearly in the wide range of compositions of clinopyroxene. Hornblende, magnetite and olivine were also transferred from inclusions to host.

Sr and Nd isotope data indicate that, unlike most other fractionated magmas of the region, phonolites which show evidence for magma mixing are uncontaminated by the continental crust and have isotopic ratios similar to local primitive basic magmas. This leads to the suggestion that the magma mixing event took place at great depth, rather than being a high-level phenomenon. The phonolites were thus generated by high-pressure fractional crystallisation of an earlier basanitic or tephritic parent, perhaps at upper-mantle depths. This conclusion may explain why some phonolites elsewhere in the world have entrained spinel Iherzolite mantle xenoliths.

Keywords: magma mixing • alkaline volcanics • Massif Central • France

Mineralogical Magazine; March 1989 v. 53; no. 369; p. 43-53; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1989.053.369.04
© 1989, The Mineralogical Society
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