Abstract

The Early Devonian volcanic sequence of the eastern Klamath Mountains (northern California) consists of the Copley Greenstone, a basalt–andesite series, overlain by the Balaklala Rhyolite. All the rocks are metamorphosed to the greenschist facies.The Copley Greenstone consists of massive flows and pyroclastic deposits in the lower part that are overlain by pillow lavas. No sediments are interlayered in the volcanic pile except in the easternmost outcrop area, where sandstones with granitic debris and shaly tuffs are interbedded in the uppermost flows. High-Mg andesites occur only near the top of the basic volcanic succession. The Balaklala Rhyolite is formed of massive flows, breccias, and tuffs.The Copley volcanic rocks, poor in titanium, belong to a low-K tholeiitic suite formed in an island-arc geodynamic environment. The occurrence of olivine with chromium spinels in almost all the lava types, the enrichment in magnesium, chromium, and nickel, and the depletion in hygromagmaphile elements suggest that magmatic differentiation was a marginal process. The Balaklala Rhyolite shows very homogeneous petrographic and geochemical features, characteristic of tholeittic products.From its characteristics here described (pillowed flows, lack of sedimentation, presence of high-Mg andesites and low-K rhyolites, bimodality of the volcanism) the Early Devonian volcanic sequence represents an immature island arc related to a back-arc basin, similar to the present-day Mariana island arc.

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