Geochemical constraints on magma processes in a peralkaline system: The Paisano volcano, west Texas

William F. McDonough, Dennis O. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Major and trace element data for a sequence of peralkaline silicic lavas and pyroclastic flows, exposed in the caldera wall of the Paisano volcano, west Texas, document systematic fractional crystallization during magmatic evolution and an open system, magma mixing event in the upper parts of the sequence. Stratigraphically lowest flows are comendite and comenditic quartz trachyte lavas and ash flow tufts. Overlying these units is a trachyte with compositional, textural and mineralogical features indicating that it is the product of magma-mixing; similar flows occur in other parts of the volcano at the same stratigraphic level. This composite trachyte is considered to be a mixture of mugearitic or mafic trachytic magma, derived from a similar source region which yielded the earlier caldera wall flows. Trace element concentrations of the post-trachyte comenditic quartz trachyte lavas suggest they were erupted from a chamber whose magma was diluted by an influx of mugearitic or mafic trachytic magma during a magma mixing event. Rayleigh fractionation calculations show that the comendites and comenditic quartz trachytes can be derived from a parental mugearite magma by 88% to 93% fractionation of dominantly plagioclase and alkali feldspar, with lesser amounts of clinopyroxene, magnetite and apatite. Zircon was not a significant fractionating phase. The composition, mineralogy and depth of the source region(s) which generated these magmas cannot be constrained from the present data set.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2443-2455
Number of pages13
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1984 Dec


Dive into the research topics of 'Geochemical constraints on magma processes in a peralkaline system: The Paisano volcano, west Texas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this