Abstract

The Yardea Dacite is a large-volume felsic volcanic unit from the Middle Proterozoic Gawler Range Volcanics of South Australia; it has been previously described as an ignimbrite. However, some samples contain no petrographic evidence for a pyroclastic origin, but have characteristics compatible with final crystallization from a nonfragmented magma. These samples may have erupted as lavas, but others are likely to be extremely densely welded ignimbrites, suggesting a compound nature for the unit. Geothermometry and phase equilibria indicate that the Yardea Dacite originated from a high-temperature (∼1000 °C) felsic magma with a low water content (≤2%). The Yardea Dacite is not associated with a known caldera of the Valles type, and shares many characteristics of recently described Cenozoic felsic volcanic rocks from the western United States, interpreted as rheoignimbrites or as unusually extensive lavas.

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