Magma storage and ascent conditions beneath Pico and Faial islands (Azores archipelago): A study on fluid inclusions



[1] In the islands of Faial and Pico (the Azores), fluid inclusions are hosted in megacrysts of olivine (Mg#80–88) and clinopyroxene (Mg#79–90) in highly porphyritic lavas and in mineral assemblages of ultramafic xenoliths. Rare inclusions are contained in olivine phenocrysts (Mg# < 80) and plagioclases in poorly porphyritic lavas. Trails of late-stage inclusions are predominant over isolated early-stage inclusions. Almost all inclusions are re-equilibrated and the trapped fluid consists of pure CO2 (Tm from −56.5 to −57.2). Rare early-stage inclusions may contain dypingite or Mg-calcite, which indicates that in earlier times some water was present along with CO2. Barometric data indicate that CO2 inclusions in xenoliths from the two islands equilibrated at maximum pressures of 570–586 MPa (19.7–21.2 km), while in poorly porphyritic lavas from all the fissure zones at 465–508 MPa (16.4–18.1 km). Maximum pressure values of 463 MPa (16.8 km) and 492 MPa (17 km) were recorded for the central volcanoes of Pico and Faial, respectively. Further trapping/re-equilibration was recorded at 156 MPa in Faial (5.6 km), in plagioclase phenocrysts in mugearites. All these pressures correspond to magma ponding sites and to its crystallization and can be useful for tracing the progressive thickening of a dense transition zone, below the geophysical Moho. The ability to extract rapidly the stored magmas from these volcanic systems strictly depends on the different tectonic styles, acting in this transition zone. Magmatic evolution in small and short-lived intracrustal reservoirs, not necessarily coaxial with main conduit system, was enhanced at the intersection of differently oriented lineaments.