Magnesian andesite and dacite lavas from Mt. Shasta, northern California: Products of fractional crystallization of H2O-rich mantle melts

Timothy L. Grove, Michael B. Baker, Richard C. Price, Stephen W. Parman, Linda T. Elkins-Tanton, Nilanjan Chatterjee, Othmar Müntener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Mt. Shasta andesite and dacite lavas contain high MgO (3.5-5 wt.%), very low FeO*/MgO (1-1.5) and 60-66 wt.% SiO2. The range of major and trace element compositions of the Shasta lavas can be explained through fractional crystallization (∼50-60 wt.%) with subsequent magma mixing of a parent magma that had the major element composition of an H2O-rich primitive magnesian andesite (PMA). Isotopic and trace element characteristics of the Mt. Shasta stratocone lavas are highly variable and span the same range of compositions that is found in the parental basaltic andesite and PMA lavas. This variability is inherited from compositional variations in the input contributed from melting of mantle wedge peridotite that was fluxed by a slab-derived, fluid-rich component. Evidence preserved in phenocryst assemblages indicates mixing of magmas that experienced variable amounts of fractional crystallization over a range of crustal depths from ∼25 to ∼4 km beneath Mt. Shasta. Major and trace element evidence is also consistent with magma mixing. Pre-eruptive crystallization extended from shallow crustal levels under degassed conditions (∼4 wt.% H2O) to lower crustal depths with magmatic H2O contents of ∼10-15 wt.%. Oxygen fugacity varied over 2 log units from one above to one below the Nickel-Nickel Oxide buffer. The input of buoyant H2O-rich magmas containing 10-15 wt.% H2O may have triggered magma mixing and facilitated eruption. Alternatively, vesiculation of oversaturated H2O-rich melts could also play an important role in mixing and eruption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-565
Number of pages24
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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