Abstract

Magmas in Faial Island, Azores (Portugal), were mostly erupted from two fissure zones and the Caldeira central volcano during overlapping periods. The fissure zones follow extensional trends oriented WNW and ESE and erupted nepheline- to hypersthene-normative basalts and hawaiites. The Caldeira central volcano builds the central part of the island, which is cut by the fissure zones. Ne-normative basalts show similar high-field-strength element (HFSE) concentrations but higher large ion lithophile element (LILE) concentrations than hy-normative equivalents. Primitive melts were generated by small (3–5%) degrees of partial melting of garnet-bearing peridotite, variably enriched in incompatible elements. Overall, basalts from Faial show relatively higher LILE abundances and LILE/HFSE ratios than those of the other islands of the Azores and of many other volcanoes in the Atlantic area. This feature indicates the existence of chemical heterogeneities in the mantle sources characterized by variable degrees of metasomatism, both at local and regional scales. Hawaiites evolved from basalts through 30–40% fractional crystallization of mafic phases plus some plagioclase, in deep reservoirs, at about 430–425 MPa (~ 15 km). The Caldeira central volcano rocks range from basalts to trachytes. Basalts, produced under similar conditions as fissure basalts, evolved to trachytes through large degrees of polybaric fractional crystallization (100–760 MPa; i.e. ~ 3.6–26 km), involving olivine, clinopyroxene, feldspar and minor quantities of amphibole, biotite, apatite and oxides. In contrast, mafic magmas from the fissure zones were erupted directly onto the surface from magma reservoirs mainly located at the crust–mantle boundary.

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