Journal Article

The Petrogenesis of Felsic Calc-alkaline Magmas from the Southernmost Cascades, California: Origin by Partial Melting of Basaltic Lower Crust

Lars E. Borg and Michael A. Clynne

in Journal of Petrology

Volume 39, issue 6, pages 1197-1222
Published in print June 1998 | ISSN: 0022-3530
Published online June 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2415 | DOI:

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The majority of felsic rocks from composite centers in the southernmost Cascades have geochemical and Sr, Nd and Pb isotopic ratios that suggest derivation by partial melting of lower crust that is compositionally similar to calc-alkaline basalts observed in the region. Only a few felsic rocks have δ18O and Pb isotopic compositions that indicate interaction with the upper crust. Mineralogical and geochemical differences among the felsic magmas result primarily from melting under variable f(H2O) and temperature conditions. Partial melting under low f(H2O) and high temperature conditions leaves an amphibole-poor residuum, and produces magmas that have orthopyroxene as the most abundant ferromagnesian phenocryst, relatively low silica contents, and straight rare earth element patterns. Partial melting under higher f(H2O) and lower temperature conditions leaves an amphibole-rich residuum, and produces magmas that have amphibole ± biotite phenocrysts, relatively high silica contents, and pronounced middle rare earth element depletions. These conclusions are consistent with published thermal models that suggest that reasonable volumes of basaltic magma emplaced beneath large composite centers in the southernmost Cascades can serve as the heat source for melting of the lower crust. Melting of the lower crust under variable f(H2O) conditions is likely to result from differences in the H2O contents of these basaltic magmas.

Keywords: Cascade arc; felsic magma; lower crust; partial melting

Journal Article.  14374 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Petrology