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Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 20;5:4199. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5199.

Bimodal magmatism produced by progressively inhibited crustal assimilation.

Author information

1
Department of Earth Sciences, CEMPEG, Uppsala University, Villav├Ągen 16, 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden.
2
1] Department of Earth Sciences, CEMPEG, Uppsala University, Villav├Ągen 16, 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden [2] Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Via di Vigna Murata, 605, 00143 Rome, Italy.
3
Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, Rankine Avenue, East Kilbride, G75 0QF Scotland, UK.
4
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Via di Vigna Murata, 605, 00143 Rome, Italy.
5
Department of Petrology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, Netherlands.
6
School of Geography and Geosciences, University of St Andrews, North Street, St Andrews, KY16 9AL Scotland, UK.

Abstract

The origin of bimodal (mafic-felsic) rock suites is a fundamental question in volcanology. Here we use major and trace elements, high-resolution Sr, Nd and Pb isotope analyses, experimental petrology and thermodynamic modelling to investigate bimodal magmatism at the iconic Carlingford Igneous Centre, Ireland. We show that early microgranites are the result of extensive assimilation of trace element-enriched partial melts of local metasiltstones into mafic parent magmas. Melting experiments reveal the crust is very fusible, but thermodynamic modelling indicates repeated heating events rapidly lower its melt-production capacity. Granite generation ceased once enriched partial melts could no longer form and subsequent magmatism incorporated less fertile restite compositions only, producing mafic intrusions and a pronounced compositional gap. Considering the frequency of bimodal magma suites in the North Atlantic Igneous Province, and the ubiquity of suitable crustal compositions, we propose 'progressively inhibited crustal assimilation' (PICA) as a major cause of bimodality in continental volcanism.

PMID:
24947142
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms5199

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