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Digital archive of theses discussed at the University of Pisa

 

Thesis etd-07062023-152625


Thesis type
Tesi di laurea magistrale
Author
TOMASSINI, ALICE
URN
etd-07062023-152625
Thesis title
Crystal chemical textures: a record of plumbing system dynamics potentially modulated by ice load - The Pleiades Volcanic Complex, Antarctica.
Department
SCIENZE DELLA TERRA
Course of study
SCIENZE E TECNOLOGIE GEOLOGICHE
Supervisors
relatore Prof. Rocchi, Sergio
correlatore Dott.ssa Rocchi, Irene
Keywords
  • Antarctica
  • plumbing system
  • volcano ice load
Graduation session start date
21/07/2023
Availability
Withheld
Release date
21/07/2026
Summary
The Pleiades Volcanic Complex (PVC) is made up of some 20 monogenetic cinder cones, that erupted
during the last 900 ka. Their products define a complete moderately alkaline sodic association,
representing a uniqueness for both the volcanism in northern Victoria Land (Antarctica) and
alkaline volcanic fields made of monogenetic cones. To investigate the origin of such a special
signature, FE-SEM textural imaging coupled with EPMA major element analyses of the main
mineral phases have been performed. Moreover, clinopyroxene has been selected for LA-ICP-MS
trace element analyses and thermobarometry. The observed chemical textures can be complex, but
strong zonings of primitive composition are scarce. Each sample of various degrees of evolution
is in fact the result of mixing between similar magmas belonging to the same association. Only
hawaiites and less evolved mugearites record the mixing with a primitive magma, although not of
direct mantle derivation. Thermobarometry, in support of petrographic evidence, suggests the
presence of a vertically extended plumbing system, in which fractional crystallisation, coupled with
mixing between differently evolved magmas, permits the development of a complete moderately
alkaline sodic evolution trend. Such processes need the residence times to be long, in order to have
a complete evolution from alkali basalt to trachyte and magma refilling from different ponding
levels of the system in shallower reservoirs. The arrival of a mafic, volatile-rich, magma in the
shallow reservoirs often precedes the eruptions. Taking into account the geological setting of PVC,
the long residence time in the crust could have been provoked by a significant glacio-lithostatic
load during glacial stages, which induced a compressive stress on the horizontal plane in the upper
crust and inhibited the eruptions. The system was likely episodically fed by newly originated
magmas in order to permit the development of a complex, long-lived, plumbing system. Glacial
unloading, during major deglaciation or small internal variations of the glacial periods, could
have favoured vesiculation and the ascent of primitive magmas directly to the shallow reservoirs,
triggering the eruptions.
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