Origin of silicic magmas along the Central American volcanic front: Genetic relationship to mafic melts
Silicic pyroclastic flows and related deposits are abundant along the Central American volcanic front. These silicic magmas erupted through both the non-continental Chorotega block to the southeast and the Paleozoic continental Chortis block to the northwest. The along-arc variations of the silicic deposits with respect to diagnostic trace element ratios (Ba/La, U/Th, Ce/Pb), oxygen isotopes, Nd and Sr isotope ratios mimic the along-arc variation in the basaltic and andesitic lavas. This variation in the lavas has been interpreted to indicate relative contributions from the slab and asthenosphere to the basaltic magmas [Carr, M.J., Feigenson, M.D., Bennett, E.A., 1990. Incompatible element and isotopic evidence for tectonic control of source mixing and melt extraction along the Central American arc. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 105, 369–380.; Patino, L.C., Carr, M.J. and Feigenson, M.D., 2000. Local and regional variations in Central American arc lavas controlled by variations in subducted sediment input. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 138 (3), 265–283.]. With respect to along-arc trends in basaltic lavas the largest contribution of slab fluids is in Nicaragua and the smallest input from the slab is in central Costa Rica — similar trends are observed in the silicic pyroclastic deposits. Data from melting experiments of primitive basalts and basaltic andesites demonstrate that it is difficult to produce high K2O/Na2O silicic magmas by fractional crystallization or partial melting of low-K2O/Na2O sources. However fractional crystallization or partial melting of medium- to high-K basalts can produce these silicic magmas. We interpret that the high-silica magmas associated Central America volcanic front are partial melts of penecontemporaneous, mantle-derived, evolved magmas that have ponded and crystallized in the mid-crust — or are melts extracted from these nearly completely crystallized magmas.
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Vogel, Thomas A.; Patino, Lina C.; Eaton, Jonathon K.; Valley, John W.; Rose, William I.; Alvarado, Guillermo E.; and Viray, Ela L., "Origin of silicic magmas along the Central American volcanic front: Genetic relationship to mafic melts" (2006). Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences Publications. 38.