Geochemical evidence for slab melting in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt

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Journal of Petrology
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Geochemical studies of Plio-Quaternary volcanic rocks from the Valle de Bravo-Zitacuaro volcanic field (VBZ) in central Mexico indicate that slab melting plays a key role in the petrogenesis of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Rocks from the VBZ are typical arc-related high-Mg andesites, but two different rock suites with distinct trace element patterns and isotopic compositions erupted concurrently in the area, with a trace element character that is also distinct from that of other Mexican volcanoes. The geochemical differences between the VBZ suites cannot be explained by simple crystal fractionation and/or crustal assimilation of a common primitive magma, but can be reconciled by the participation of different proportions of melts derived from the subducted basalt and sediments interacting with the mantle wedge. Sr/Y and Sr/Pb ratios of the VBZ rocks correlate inversely with Pb and Sr isotopic compositions, indicating that the Sr and Pb budgets are strongly controlled by melt additions from the subducted slab. In contrast, an inverse correlation between Pb(Th)/Nd and Nd-143/Nd-144 ratios, which extend to lower isotopic values than those for Pacific mid-ocean ridge basalts, indicates the participation of an enriched mantle wedge that is similar to the source of Mexican intraplate basalts. In addition, a systematic decrease in middle and heavy rare earth concentrations and Nb/Ta ratios with increasing SiO2 contents in the VBZ rocks is best explained if these elements are mobilized to some extent in the subduction flux, and suggests that slab partial fusion occurred under garnet amphibolite-facies conditions.


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DOI 10.1093/petrology/egl071