Origin and evolution of primitive melts from the Debunscha Maar, Cameroon: Consequences for mantle source heterogeneity within the Cameroon Volcanic Line

Caroline N. Ngwa, Thor H. Hansteen, Colin W. Devey, Froukje M. van der Zwan, Cheo E. Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Debunscha Maar is a monogenetic volcano forming part of the Mt. Cameroon volcanic field, located within the Cameroon Volcanic Line (CVL). Partly glassy cauliflower bombs have primitive basanite-picrobasalt compositions and contain abundant normally and reversely zoned olivine (Fo 77–87) and clinopyroxene phenocrysts. Naturally quenched melt inclusions in the most primitive olivine phenocrysts show compositions which, when corrected for post-entrapment modification, cover a wide range from basanite to alkali basalt (MgO 6.9–11.7 wt%), and are generally more primitive than the matrix glasses (MgO 5.0–5.5 wt%) and only partly fall on a common liquid line of descent with the bulk rock samples and matrix glasses. Melt inclusion trace element compositions lie on two distinct geochemical trends: one (towards high Ba/Nb) is thought to represent the effect of various proportions of anhydrous lherzolite and amphibole-bearing peridotite in the source, while the other (for example, high La/Y) reflects variable degrees of partial melting. Comparatively low fractionation-corrected CaO in the melt inclusions with the highest La/Y suggests minor involvement of a pyroxenite source component that is only visible at low degrees of melting. Most of the samples show elevated Gd/Yb, indicating up to 8% garnet in the source. The range of major and trace elements represented by the melt inclusions covers the complete geochemical range given by basalts from different volcanoes of the Cameroon volcanic line, indicating that geochemical signatures that were previously thought to be volcano-specific in fact are probably present under all volcanoes. Clinopyroxene-melt barometry strongly indicates repeated mixing of compositionally diverse melts within the upper mantle at 830 ± 170 MPa prior to eruption. Mantle potential temperatures estimated for the primitive melt inclusions suggest that the thermal influence of a mantle plume is not required to explain the magma petrogenesis.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-337
Number of pages12
JournalLithos
Volume288-289
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

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