Rhyolites and their Source Mushes across Tectonic Settings

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Abstract

Evolved magmas, including highly explosive rhyolites, are mainly generated by extraction of viscous melts from solid residues either in (1) partial melting zones within the crust (dominantly up-temperature evolution with newly formed silicic melt), or in (2) long-lived crystallizing mush zones fed by mafic to intermediate magmas (dominantly down-temperature evolution with residual silicic melt). Although both processes undoubtedly occur and are generally coupled, allowing for mixing between mantle and crustal components, we argue that combined field, thermal, geochemical, and geophysical observations favor residual melt extraction from crystalline mushes as the likely scenario in all tectonic settings. Depending on the main melting process in the mantle, two end-member differentiation trends occur: (1) a dry lineage leading to hot-reduced rhyolites and granites in magmatic provinces fueled by decompression melting of the mantle; (2) a wet lineage leading to cold-oxidized rhyolites and granites in subduction zones dominated by flux melting of the mantle.

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