Mineral chemistry of submarine lavas from Hilo Ridge, Hawaii: Implications for magmatic processes within Hawaiian rift zones

Huai Jen Yang, Frederick A. Frey, David A. Clague, Michael O. Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The crustal history of volcanic rocks can be inferred from the mineralogy and compositions of their phenocrysts which record episodes of magma mixing as well as the pressures and temperatures when magmas cooled. Submarine lavas erupted on the Hilo Ridge, a rift zone directly east of Mauna Kea volcano, contain olivine, plagioclase, augite ± orthopyroxene phenocrysts. The compositions of these phenocryst phases provide constraints on the magmatic processes beneath Hawaiian rift zones. In these samples, olivine phenocrysts are normally zoned with homogeneous cores ranging from ~ Fo81 to Fo91. In contrast, plagioclase, augite and orthopyroxene phenocrysts display more than one episode of reverse zoning. Within each sample, plagioclase, augite and orthopyroxene phenocrysts have similar zoning profiles. However, there are significant differences between samples. In three samples these phases exhibit large compositional contrasts, e.g., Mg [100 x Mg/(Mg + Fe+2)] of augite varies from 71 in cores to 82 in rims. Some submarine lavas from the Puna Ridge (Kilauea volcano) contain phenocrysts with similar reverse zonation. The compositional variations of these phenocrysts can be explained by mixing of a multiphase (plagioclase, augite and orthopyroxene) saturated, evolved magma with more mafic magma saturated only with olivine. The differences in the compositional ranges of plagioclase, augite and orthopyroxene crystals between samples indicate that these samples were derived from isolated magma chambers which had undergone distinct fractionation and mixing histories. The samples containing plagioclase and pyroxene with small compositional variations reflect magmas that were buffered near the olivine + melt => Low-Ca pyroxene + augite + plagioclase reaction point by frequent intrusions of mafic olivine-bearing magmas. Samples containing plagioclase and pyroxene phenocrysts with large compositional ranges reflect magmas that evolved beyond this reaction point when there was no replenishment with olivine-saturated magma. Two of these samples contain augite cores with Mg of ~71, corresponding to Mg of 36-40 in equilibrium melts, and augite in another sample has Mg of 63-65 which is in equilibrium with a very evolved melt with a Mg of ~30. Such highly evolved magmas also exist beneath the Puna Ridge of Kilauea volcano. They are rarely erupted during the shield building stage, but may commonly form in ephemeral magma pockets in the rift zones. The compositions of clinopyroxene phenocryst rims and associated glass rinds indicate that most of the samples were last equilibrated at 2-3 kbar and 1130-1160 °C. However, in one sample, augite and glass rind compositions reflect crystallization at higher pressures (4-5 kbar). This sample provides evidence for magma mixing at relatively high pressures and perhaps transport of magma from the summit conduits to the rift zone along the oceanic crust-mantle boundary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-372
Number of pages18
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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