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Study of crystal-hosted melt inclusions at Santorini (Greece), with implications for magma genesis and plumbing system processes

Abstract : Many arc volcanoes are capable of producing devastating caldera-forming eruptions. Santorini Volcano (South Aegean Volcanic Arc, southern Aegean Sea, Greece) is an arc volcano responsible for numerous such eruptions over its >0.65 My history, the most recent being the Late Bronze Age (LBA) eruption. However, there are a number of unresolved questions relating to the Santorini volcanic system including the nature of the primary magmas of Santorini and how they change with time, differentiation processes and the relationship between mafic and silicic magmas, the origins of long-term geochemical trends in magma composition, and what changes occur in the plumbing system during the build-up to a large caldera-forming eruption. In this thesis, I present a large set of high-resolution crystal-hosted melt inclusion (MI) and groundmass glass data to address these questions relating to the nature of magma genesis and differentiation at Santorini.The dataset includes many olivine-hosted MIs of primitive basaltic composition, which are rare as whole rocks on Santorini and in the volcanic arc in general. These MIs show there is a range in the incompatible trace element chemistry of the most primitive basaltic melts at Santorini. Primitive MIs have typical subduction zone geochemical signatures and vary between incompatible-poor and incompatible-rich types, which we refer to as low Nb and high Nb primitive melt types, respectively. The primitive MIs range in La/Yb from 1.5 (flat, tholeiitic-like) in the low Nb type to 3.2 (inclined, calc-alkaline-like) in the high Nb type. We back-calculate primary melt compositions using different methods and find that the primary melts parental to the low Nb and high Nb MIs have respectively low Nb and high Nb characteristics. The low Nb and high Nb type primitive melts cannot be related by fractional crystallization but are instead related by different degrees of partial melting of the mantle. We derived the degree of mantle partial melting (F) using the petrogenetic modelling software PRIMACALC2 (F = 6% for high Nb primary melt; F= 8% for low Nb primary melt) and carrying out mantle melting models (F = 18% for high Nb primary melt; F = 22% for low Nb primary melt). The two approaches differ in F but agree that a different degree of melting can explain the compositional variation between the two endmember Nb melt types. The predominant metasomatic signature in the primary melts is from melting of sediment in the subducted slab; there is very little evidence for slab-derived aqueous fluids. There may be some influence from residual rutile in the slab, but this does not dominate the different Nb groupings. There is no consistent temporal change in the primary basaltic melts with time, suggesting that the two different endmember primary melts have been available for ascent into the crust over much of the history of the volcano. We conclude that at least two mantle source domains exist below Santorini: a source giving way to low Nb primary melts (characterized by higher sediment melt signatures and a higher degree of partial melting) and one giving rise to high Nb primary melt (characterized by a smaller, yet still prominent, sediment melt signature and associated with a few percent less melting). The absence of a strong slab-derived aqueous fluid component, coupled with the presence of arc tholeiitic compositions and regional extension around the volcanic field, suggests there could be a role of decompression melting beneath Santorini. (...)
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - 10:37:35 AM
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Taya Therese Flaherty. Study of crystal-hosted melt inclusions at Santorini (Greece), with implications for magma genesis and plumbing system processes. Earth Sciences. Université Clermont Auvergne, 2020. English. ⟨NNT : 2020CLFAC031⟩. ⟨tel-03155953⟩



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