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American Mineralogist

Journal of Earth and Planetary Materials

Ed. by Baker, Don / Xu, Hongwu / Swainson, Ian

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Volume 101, Issue 2


Hafnium, oxygen, neodymium, strontium, and lead isotopic constraints on magmatic evolution of the supereruptive southern Black Mountains volcanic center, Arizona, U.S.A.: A combined LASS zircon–whole-rock study

Susanne M. McDowell
  • Corresponding author
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences, Vanderbilt University, PMB 351805, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, Tennessee 37235-1805, U.S.A.
  • Department of Geology, Hanover College, 484 Ball Drive, Hanover, Indiana 47243, U.S.A.
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/ Sarah Overton
  • Geology Department, San Jose State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, California 95192, U.S.A.
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/ Christopher M. Fisher
  • School of the Environment, Washington State University, P.O. Box 642812, Pullman Washington 99164-2812, U.S.A.
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/ William O. Frazier
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences, Vanderbilt University, PMB 351805, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, Tennessee 37235-1805, U.S.A.
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/ Calvin F. Miller
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences, Vanderbilt University, PMB 351805, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, Tennessee 37235-1805, U.S.A.
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/ Jonathan S. Miller
  • Geology Department, San Jose State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, California 95192, U.S.A.
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/ Rita C. Economos
  • Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of California–Los Angeles, 595 Charles Young Drive East, P.O. Box 951567, Los Angeles, California 90095, U.S.A.
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Published Online: 2016-02-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2016-5127


The >700 km3 Peach Spring Tuff (PST), erupted at 18.8 Ma from the Silver Creek caldera in the southern Black Mountains volcanic center (SBMVC) of western Arizona, is the only supereruption-scale ignimbrite in the northern Colorado River Extensional Corridor. The SBMVC contains pre- and post-caldera volcanic rocks and caldera-related intrusions (∼19–17 Ma) that provide a detailed petrologic record of ignimbrite antecedence and aftermath.

Whole-rock Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf isotopic data combined with complementary zircon O and Hf isotopic data from a suite of pre- through post-PST samples provide robust constraints on (1) how the SBMVC evolved with respect to magmatic sources and processes throughout its ∼2 Ma history and (2) the petrogenetic relationships between the PST and slightly younger intracaldera plutons. Both pre- and post-PST units have isotopic ranges (εNd = −8.3 to −11.6, εHf = −8.2 to −14.0, 87Sr/86Sr = 0.709–0.712; 206Pb/204Pb = 18.19–18.49, 207Pb/204Pb = 15.60–15.62, 208Pb/204Pb = 38.95–39.29) that fall within the spectrum of Miocene Colorado River Extensional Corridor rocks and are consistent with mixing of substantial fractions of Proterozoic (Mojave) crust and juvenile material derived from regional enriched mantle. Compared to the PST, which has relatively uniform isotopic ratios (εΜ = −11.4 to −11.7, εκ = −13.8 to −14.3, 87Sr/86Sri =0.709–0.712; 206Pb/204Pb = 18.20–18.29, 207Pb/204Pb = 15.60–15.62, 208Pb/204Pb = 39.02–39.33), individual pre- and post-PST units are isotopically more variable and generally more primitive.

Consistent with whole-rock isotopes, zircon εHf (−8 to −14) and oxygen δ18O (+4.5 to +7.2‰) for most pre- and post-PST units also have wider ranges and more mantle-like values than those of the PST (−12 to −15, +6.1 to +7.1‰). Moreover, zircon isotopic compositions decrease in post-PST samples. A few zircons from post-PST intrusions have δ18O values lower than mantle values (<+5‰), suggesting incorporation of hydrothermally altered rock.

Whole-rock and zircon elemental and isotopic analyses indicate that (1) most pre- and post-PST units are less evolved and less homogenized than the PST itself; (2) intrusions in the Silver Creek caldera are petrogenetically distinct from the PST and therefore represent discrete magmatic pulses, not unerupted PST mush; (3) enriched mantle input increased in the SBMVC following the paroxysmal PST eruption; (4) post-PST history of the SBMVC was characterized by periodic influx of magmas with varying juvenile fractions into pre-existing mushy or solidified intrusions, resulting in variable and incomplete hybridization; and (5) melting and assimilation of hydrothermally altered crust played a relatively minor role in the generation and evolution of magmas in the SBMVC.

Keywords: Volcanic center; petrogenesis; zircon; oxygen isotopes; Sr isotopes; Hf isotopes; Nd isotopes; Pb isotopes; supereruption

† Current address: Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Southern Methodist University, 3225 Daniel Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75205, U.S.A.

Special collection information can be found at http://www.minsocam.org/MSA/AmMin/special-collections.html.

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About the article

Received: 2014-07-14

Accepted: 2015-10-02

Published Online: 2016-02-18

Published in Print: 2016-02-01

Manuscript handled by Calvin Barnes

Citation Information: American Mineralogist, Volume 101, Issue 2, Pages 311–327, ISSN (Online) 1945-3027, ISSN (Print) 0003-004X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2016-5127.

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© 2016 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.

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