Magma Storage of the Alkaline Tejeda Cone Sheet Swarm, Gran Canaria, Spain

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för geovetenskaper


Volcanoes with alkaline differentiated magma belong to the more explosive and destructive types, but knowledge about these systems is often limited. Unravelling the position and conditions in the source magma chamber systems that feed volcanism at the surface is vital to understand these systems better. Due to deep erosion and barren grounds the oceanic island of Gran Canaria, Spain, provides a natural laboratory to study unique chemical and structural volcanic features of alkaline volcanism. The centre of Gran Canaria is made up of the Miocene Tejeda intrusive complex including a cone-sheet swarm and shallow alkaline differentiated plutonic rocks that form the closing phase of the Miocene activity pulse on Gran Canaria. Cone-sheets and other high-level plutonic rocks can give important insights into the interior of a volcano, such as depth and geometry of the magma supply reservoir, and thus provide vital data for the interpretation of active volcanoes in the Canary Islands and beyond. This work uses the clinopyroxene-melt thermobarometric methodology by Putirka (2008) and Masotta et al. (2013), the latter being a re-calibration of the first making it specific to alkaline differentiated magmas, to further constrain the depth of mineral. Geochemical analysis was preformed with electron microprobe (EMPA) at Uppsala University to determine mineral compositions and to extend the dataset, chemical data from the extensive work by Schirnick (1996) was also utilised. When the calculated pressure from the method of Masotta et al. (2013), was converted to the depth, the results from syenite samples show that crystallization of clinopyroxene occurred at depths of ~ 4 km (100 MPa) to ~ 15 km (400 MPa), with the highest concentration between ~ 7 km (200 MPa) and ~ 11 km (300 MPa). The results indicates that crystallization took place through the pressure range equivalent to crustal levels and possibly reaching as far down as MOHO depth, with temperature estimates calculated to about 860 to 960 °C. After combining the thermobarometric results with other evidence of magmatic processes, from this work and previous publications, the magma system expresses characteristics of fractional crystallization trends and simultaneously evidence of magma mixing, small-scale convection, and magma contamination. To explain these contradictory features, this work promotes a network of interconnected magma chambers that allows for magma stagnation and evolution at different levels. The results have thus contributed to further constrain the depth of which the cone-sheet swarm originated from on Gran Canaria, Spain.

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