Magmatism in the eastern Aleutian Arc: temporal characteristic of igneous activity on Akutan Island

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Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology





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Lavas from Akutan Island, located in the eastern Aleutian arc at the transition between continental and oceanic crust, show a gradual change in their petrologic and chemical characteristics over the last 4 million years. The oldest lavas exposed on the island, the Hot Springs Bay Volcanics (HSBV), range from magnesian basalt to dacite (45%–62% SiO2). The most mafic basalts contain salitic clinopyroxene, Cr- and Al-rich spinel, and pargasitic amphibole suggesting that they were derived from relatively hydrous magmas at greater pressures than lavas from the younger Akutan Volcanics (AKV) and the modern volcano (MOD). AKV lavas also range between basalt and dacite (46%–63% SiO2), but contain no hydrous phenocrysts and seem to have fractionated within a shallow level magma chamber. Lavas from the modern volcano are andesitic (52%–57% SiO2) and have a mineral assemblage similar to that of AKV lavas of similar composition. With the exception of clinopyroxene and spinel in the most mafic lavas, the compositions of plagioclase (An92−45), olivine (Fo88−51), orthopyroxene (En69−56), and titanomagnetite (15%–21% TiO2) phenocrysts found in these lavas are within the range observed in lavas from other Aleutian volcanoes. Variations in the major element chemistry of the older lavas can be reproduced by fractional crystallization of the observed mineral assemblages, however closed system crystal fractionation models are inadequate to explain the trace element variations. During the last 4 million years, La/Yb ratios have decreased (6.5–3.3 for HSBV lavas and 2.9–1.9 for MOD lavas) whereas Ba/La ratios appear to have increased slightly (37–43 for HSBV and AKV, and 41–45 of MOD). The lower La/Yb ratios of MOD lavas correspond with lower total abundances of the REE and slightly higher Sr and Pb isotopic ratios. The increased87Sr/86Sr ratios and Pb isotopic ratios in the MOD lavas, the less enriched LREE, and the higher Ba/La ratios may result from partial melting of an arc source which has experienced previous melting events but has continued to be contaminated by a component from the subducting slab. It may also indicate a change in the degree of partial melting of the underlying mantle, which corresponds to a different percentage of a slab derived component being incorporated into the overlying mantle.