A Geochemical Model for the Petrogenesis of the Curaçao Lava Formation: Implications for the Origin of the Caribbean Plateau Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/undergraduate_thesis_or_projects/tm70mx349

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  • The Curaçao Lava Formation (CLF) records the magmatic and tectonic processes that formed the Caribbean Large Igneous Province (CLIP). A model of the petrogenesis of the CLF was developed using new geochemical and geochronological data. These data include major element compositions obtained using X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), trace element concentrations obtained using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and radiometric ages obtained using ⁴⁰Ar-³⁹Ar dating. The wide range of ⁴⁰Ar-³⁹Ar ages (62.3 ± 0.8 Ma to 92.0 ± 1 Ma) obtained for the Curaçao lavas contradicts previous models suggesting that the CLF formed in 1-2 million years. Crystallization modeling indicates that the lavas, sills and hyaloclastites of the CLF could have formed by fractional crystallization of parental magmas with similar major element compositions. The persistently flat rare earth element patterns of the Curaçao lavas can be reproduced by 10-30% partial melting of a predominately depleted mantle source with a minor (1.4-3.4%) enriched component. These results are consistent with a petrogenetic model for the CLIP in which lateral displacement of mantle plume head material beneath the Caribbean plateau as a result of subduction-driven mantle flow allows for the generation of magmas from an essentially homogenous mantle source over approximately 30 million years.
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