Geochemistry of highly-undersaturated ocean island basalt suites from the South Atlantic Ocean: Fernando de Noronha and Trindade islands
The volcanic rocks of the South Atlantic Ocean islands of Fernando de Noronha and Trindade comprise a diverse magmatic series ranging from nephelinites and basanites to phonolites and, on Fernando de Noronha, trachytes. All rock types are highly silica undersaturated with the exception of Fernando de Noronha trachytes_, and have high abundances of incompatible trace elements and strongly LREE (light rare earth element)-enriched REE patterns. Crystal fractionation of parental basanitic magmas produced evolved phonolites and trachytes which display severe trace-element fractionation, even among trace elements (Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf) which normally behave highly incompatibly during crystallisation of alkaline magmas. Moderately to highly evolved compositions develop strongly MREE (middle REE)-depleted REE patterns, and become increasingly depleted in elements such as Nb and, in particular, Ta. Ratios of Nb/Ta and Zr/Hf are highly fractionated in phonolites (60 65, 64 77 respectively in Fernando de Noronha phonolites) compared to ratios in basanites (14, 45 respectively). The compatibility of Nb, Ta, and the REE, and the strong fractionation of Nb/Ta and Zr/Hf ratios and the MREE, during crystallisation from basanite to phonolite are attributable to the crystallisation of small amounts (<5%) of sphene. Trace-element behaviour is relatively insensitive to the major phenocryst phases, and is controlled by minor phases in highly undersaturated alkaline suites. Incompatible trace-element ratios (e.g. La/Nb, Th/Ta) in nephelinites and basanites from Fernando de Noronha and Trindade are generally comparable with those in basaltic and hawaiitic OIB (ocean island basalt) lavas from other South Atlantic islands, but are distinct from those of Gough and Tristan da Cunha OIB. The mantle source for the highly undersaturated volcanism on Fernando de Noronha and Trindade is similar in trace-element characteristics to the “typical” OIB source which produces alkaline lavas with significant relative enrichment in Nb and Ta compared to other trace elements (as expressed by low La/Nb, Ba/Nb and Th/Ta ratios). The highly undersaturated nature of the magmas and the slight fractionation of some incompatible-element ratios (elevated Ba/Nb, Ba/Rb, Ba/Th etc.) is consistent with a smaller degree of melting of a “typical” OIB source, but with residual phlogopite in the source to account for significant K depletion and LIL-element fractionation.