Basaltic injections into floored silicic magma chambers



Recent studies have provided compelling evidence that many large accumulations of silicic volcanic rocks erupted from long-lasting, floored chambers of silicic magma that were repeatedly injected by basaltic magma. These basaltic infusions are commonly thought to play an important role in the evolution of the silicic systems: they have been proposed as a cause for explosive silicic eruptions [Sparks and Sigurdsson, 1977], compositional variation in ash-flow sheets [Smith, 1979], mafic magmatic inclusions in silicic volcanic rocks [Bacon, 1986], and mixing of mafic and silicic magmas [Anderson, 1976; Eichelberger, 1978]. If, as seems likely, floored silicic magma chambers have frequently been invaded by basalt, then plutonic bodies should provide records of these events. Although plutonic evidence for mixing and commingling of mafic and silicic magmas has been recognized for many years, it has been established only recently that some intrusive complex originated through multiple basaltic injections into floored chambers of silicic magma [e.g., Wiebe, 1974; Michael, 1991; Chapman and Rhodes, 1992].