Erupted frothy xenoliths may explain lack of country-rock fragments in plutons
2016 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 6, 34566Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Magmatic stoping is discussed to be a main mechanism of magma emplacement. As a consequence of stoping, abundant country-rock fragments should occur within, and at the bottom of, magma reservoirs as "xenolith graveyards", or become assimilated. However, the common absence of sufficient amounts of both xenoliths and crustal contamination have led to intense controversy about the efficiency of stoping. Here, we present new evidence that may explain the absence of abundant country-rock fragments in plutons. We report on vesiculated crustal xenoliths in volcanic rocks that experienced devolatilisation during heating and partial melting when entrained in magma. We hypothesise that the consequential inflation and density decrease of the xenoliths allowed them to rise and become erupted instead of being preserved in the plutonic record. Our thermomechanical simulations of this process demonstrate that early-stage xenolith sinking can be followed by the rise of a heated, partially-molten xenolith towards the top of the reservoir. There, remnants may disintegrate and mix with resident magma or erupt. Shallow-crustal plutons emplaced into hydrous country rocks may therefore not necessarily contain evidence of the true amount of magmatic stoping during their emplacement. Further studies are needed to quantify the importance of frothy xenolith in removing stoped material.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 6, 34566
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-308894DOI: 10.1038/srep34566ISI: 000386722700001PubMedID: 27804996OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-308894DiVA: diva2:1051293
FunderSwedish Research Council