Abstract

The geochronology, geochemistry, and isotopic compositions of basaltic flows erupted from the Cat Hills, Cat Mesa, Wind Mesa, Cerro Verde, and Mesita Negra volcanic centres in central New Mexico indicate that each of these lavas had unique origins and that the predominant mantle involved in their production was an ocean-island basalt type. The basalts from Cat Hills (0.11 Ma) and Cat Mesa (3.0 Ma) are similar in major and trace element composition, but differences in MgO contents and Pb isotopic values are attributed to a small involvement of a lower crustal component in the genesis of the Cat Mesa rocks. The Cerro Verde rock is comparable in age (0.32 Ma) to the Cat Hills lavas, but it is more radiogenic in Sr and Nd, has higher MgO contents, and has a lower La/Yb ratio. This composition is explained by the melting of an enriched mantle source, but the involvement of another crustal component cannot be disregarded. The Wind Mesa rock is characterized by similar age (4.01 Ma) and MgO contents, but it has enriched rare-earth element contents compared with the Cat Mesa samples. These are attributed to a difference in the degree of partial melting of the Cat Mesa source. The Mesita Negra rock (8.11 Ma) has distinctive geochemical and isotopic compositions that suggest a different enriched mantle and that large amounts of a crustal component were involved in generating this magma. These data imply a temporal shift in magma source regions and crustal involvement, and have been previously proposed for Rio Grande rift lavas.

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