Andesites as Magmatic Liquids or Liquid-crystal Mixtures; Insights from Egmont and Ruapehu Volcanoes, New Zealand Research Article

  • 1 Volcanic Risk Solutions CS-INR, Massey University, PB 11-222, 4442, Palmerston North, New Zealand


Late Quaternary andesitic magmas in New Zealand contain complexly zoned antecrysts and glomerocrysts that are not in equilibrium with either the host whole rock compositions or siliceous groundmass glass and glass inclusions. Glass inclusions represent partial melts of mafic to gabbroic cumulates in the lower crust that mix with restite crystals, or cumulates from earlier magma batches. Assimilation of partial melts of mid-crustal rocks, represented by glass in crustal xenoliths, contributes a crustal component to the andesites. Magmas at Egmont are stored at about the brittle/ductile transition at about 10 km depth and variability in the composition of erupted material is a function of the composition of the recharging magma, and which parts of the storage system are tapped during the eruption. At Taranaki recharge occurs on a c. 1400 year cycle while interactions within the storage give rise to shorter period events. A similar process on a less well constrained timescale operates at Ruapehu. Andesites are therefore complex mixtures of fractionated mantle basalts, siliceous partial melts of both the lower crust and underplated cumulates, restite and cumulate crystals. Further modification occurs by interaction with partial melts of lower to middle crustal basement as geotherms increase with time.

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