Genesis of silicic peralkaline volcanic rocks in an ocean island setting by crustal melting and open-system processes: Socorro Island, Mexico

W. A. Bohrson, M. R. Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


Silicic volcanic rocks from Socorro Island, Mexico, are dominantly porphyritic (alkali feldspar > sodic pyroxene ± fayalite ± Fe-Ti oxides ± aenigmatite) peralkaline trachytes and rhyolites. Typical of silicic peralkaline rocks, those from Socorro are enriched in Na2O, K2O, FeO*, Zr and Nb, and depleted in Al2O3, Sr and Ba relative to silicic metaluminous rocks. The ranges of Nd and Pb isotope compositions are relatively restricted and similar to those of alkalic basalts from Socorro Island. In contrast, Sr isotope compositions are more radiogenic than those of the alkalic basalts and trend toward the 87Sr/86Sr of modern seawater. Alkali feldspar-whole-rock pairs exhibit marked Sr isotope disequilibria. Gaps in SiO2 and K2O coupled with virtually identical high field strength element (e.g. Zr, Nb, Hf) and Th abundances between differentiated alkalic basalts and the least evolved peralkaline trachytes are inconsistent with an origin for the trachytes by fractional crystallization of the basalts; the most reasonable alternative is partial melting of mafic intrusive rock. Major and trace element compositions are consistent with peralkaline rhyolites being derived from parental trachytes by fractionation of an assemblage dominated by alkali feldspar; phase equilibria suggest that fractionation occurred in a shallow-level magma reservoir. At least two stages of open system processes are implicated by Sr isotopic and trace element data: 1) interaction between silicic magma and components of the shallow ocean crust may be indicated by abundances of REE in excess of those predicted by fractional crystallization models and negative Ce anomalies; 2) post-eruptive interaction between aqueous fluid and rock is suggested by whole-rock Sr isotope values that trend toward the 87Sr/86Sr of modern seawater, a positive correlation between whole-rock 87Sr/86Sr and age, and reduction in whole-rock 87Sr/86Sr acid leaching. The fluid apparently has Sr isotope characteristics comparable with those of modern seawater and may be similar in composition to hydrothermal fluids present at the summit of Socorro Island.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1166
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Petrology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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