Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Rosemary Hickey-Vargas

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Andre Macfarlane

Third Advisor's Name

Neptune Srimal

Fourth Advisor's Name

Jose Almirall


geochemistry, Chile, Hf, Nd, Sr, thermobarometry, southern volcanic zone, Azufre, Planchon, Peteroa, underplating, basalt, transitional southern volcanic zone, continental arc magmatism, crustal assimilation, lower crust

Date of Defense



The Andean Southern Volcanic Zone (SVZ) is a vast and complex continental arc that has been studied extensively to provide an understanding of arc-magma genesis, the origin and chemical evolution of the continental crust, and geochemical compositions of volcanic products. The present study focuses on distinguishing the magma/sub-arc crustal interaction of eruptive products from the Azufre-Planchon-Peteroa (APP 35°15’S) volcanic center and other major centers in the Central SVZ (CSVZ 37°S - 42°S), Transitional SVZ (TSVZ 34.3-37.0°S), and Northern SVZ (NSVZ 33°S - 34°30’S). New Hf and Nd isotopic and trace element data for SVZ centers are consistent with former studies that these magmas experienced variable depths of crystal fractionation, and that crustal assimilation is restricted to the lower crustal depths with an apparent role of garnet. Thermobarometric calculations applied to magma compositions constrain the depth of magma separation from mantle sources in all segments of the SVZ to(70-90 km). Magmatic separation at the APP complex occurs at an average depth of ~50 km which is confined to the mantle lithosphere and the base of the crust suggesting localized thermal abrasion both reservoirs. Thermobarometric calculations indicate that CSVZ primary magmas arise from a similar average depth of (~54 km) which confines magma separation to the asthenospheric mantle. The northwards along-arc Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic data and LREE enrichment accompanied with HREE depletion of SVZ mafic magmas correlates well with northward increasing crustal thickness and decreasing primary melt separation from mantle source regions indicating an increased involvement of lower crustal components in SVZ magma petrogenesis.

The study concludes that the development of mature subduction zones over millions of years of continuous magmatism requires that mafic arc derived melts stagnate at lower crustal levels due to density similarities and emplace at lower crustal depths. Basaltic underplating creates localized hot zone environments below major magmatic centers. These regions of high temperature/partial melting, and equilibration with underplated mafic rocks provides the mechanism that controls trace element and isotopic variability of primary magmas of the TSVZ and NSVZ from their baseline CSVZ-like precursors.



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