Dyhr, Charlotte Thorup4; Holm, Paul Martin4; Llambias, Eduardo J.5; Scherstén, Anders3
1 Geology, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 Universidad Nacional de La Plata3 Lunds Universitet4 Geology, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet5 Universidad Nacional de La Plata
Back-arc volcanism in the western Argentinian provinces of Mendoza and Neuquén has been widespread from the Miocene to historic times. We present a detailed investigation of profiles through two of the major Miocene volcanic areas of the region, the neighboring Huantraico and LaMatancilla plateaus, including new 40Ar/39Ar age results of major and trace elements as well as Nd, Sr and Pb isotopic data. Four million years of eruptions from 24.4 ± 0.3 Ma (2σ) of alkali olivine basalts with OIB-type incompatible trace element enrichments at La Matancilla (~36.50°S) provide evidence for the presence of back-arc mantle devoid of subduction-related components. In contrast, the lower Huantraico lavas (~37.30°S) require an atypical back-arc mantle, almost devoid of arc-like components (e.g. low La/Ta = 15–18 and Ba/La = 12–18), but with a more depleted isotopic signature (e.g. 87Sr/86Sr, 0.7033–0.7037) than observed elsewhere in the Andean back-arc. The Lower to Upper Series development in the Huantraico sequence represents a gradual change from basaltic to trachyandesitic back-arc lavas with a weak but temporally increasing arc geochemical signature (e.g. La/Ta = 15–21; Ba/La = 12–45), which is accompanied by Sr, Nd and Pb isotopic compositions approaching present day values of the Andes arc. The compositional change is accompanied by a gradually decreasing role for garnet in the mantle source, a decreasing degree of melting, but also simultaneously increasing influence from subducted fluids, probably as the slab geometry changes through time. The volcanism at Huantraico ceased when a flat slab was established around 15 Ma.