Chemical heterogeneities of pumice clasts in an ash-flow sheet can be used to determine processes that occur in the magma chamber because they represent samples of magma that were erupted at the same time. The dominant ash-flow sheet in the Tiribí Tuff contains pumice clasts that range in composition from 55.1 to 69.2 wt% SiO2. It covers about 820 km2 and has a volume of about 25 km3 dense-rock equivalent (DRE). Based on pumice clast compositions, the sheet can be divided into three distinct chemical groupings: a low-silica group (55.1–65.6 wt% SiO2), a silicic group (66.2–69.2 wt% SiO2), and a mingled group (58.6–67.7 wt% SiO2; all compositions calculated 100% anhydrous). Major and trace element modeling indicates that the low-silica magma represents a mantle melt that has undergone fractional crystallization, creating a continuous range of silica content from 55.1–65.6 wt% SiO2. Eu/Eu*, MREE, and HREE differences between the two groups are not consistent with crystal fractionation of the low-silica magma to produce the silicic magma. The low-silica group and the silicic group represent two distinct magmas, which did not evolve in the same magma chamber. We suggest that the silicic melts resulted from partial melting of relatively hot, evolved calc-alkaline rocks that were previously emplaced and ponded at the base of an over-thickened basaltic crust. The mingled group represents mingling of the two magmas shortly before eruption. Electronic supplementary material to this paper can be obtained by using the Springer LINK server located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00445-001-0188-8.
Hannah, R. S., Vogel, T. A., Patino, L. C., Alvarado, G. E., Perez, W., and Smith, D. R., 2001, Origin of silicic volcanic rocks in Central Costa Rica; a study of a chemically variable ash-flow sheet in the Tiribi Tuff: Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 64, p. 117-133.
Bulletin of Volcanology