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UNIVER SIDAD DE CONCEPCIÓN

DEPARTAMENTO DE CIENCIAS DE LA TIERRA


10° CONGRESO GEOLÓGICO CHILENO 2003

ADAKITES, SLAB MELTING, SUBDUCTION EROSION, SHALLOW


SUBDUCTION AND MINERALIZATION IN THE
SOUTH-CENTRAL ANDES
MAHLBURG KAY, S

INSTOC, Snee Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca NY 14853, USA [smk16@Cornell.edu].

Andesitic to dacitic arc rocks with the chemical characteristics ascribed to adakites by
Drummond and Defant are common in the Central Andes. What all of these rocks have in
common are trace element signatures characterized by steep REE patterns, heavy REE
depletion and high Sr and Na contents that indicate that these magmas equilibrated with
garnet-bearing and feldspar-poor residual mineral assemblages. Such assemblages imply that
partial melts of garnet-bearing granulitic or eclogitic mafic crust were incorporated into their
magma source during the subduction process. There are three places for this to occur: a) the
subducting oceanic slab, b) the subarc mantle where crust removed by forearc subduction
erosion may be involved, and c) at the base of thickened continental crust. Temporal
associations between these Andean adakites and base metal deposits have led to speculation
over links between adakite formation and mineralization. Of the three processes, slab melting
seems the least likely way to produce Central Andean adakites as they all lack the MORB-like
isotopic ratios and extreme Sr contents (>1000 ppm) of convincing slab melts, and all occur in
settings inconsistent with slab melting. Instead, adakite formation and mineralization appear
linked to crustal thickening and forearc subduction erosion processes at times of arc migration
related to changes in subducting plate geometry.

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