Volumetrically subordinate alkaline mafic lava flows form a late capping stage over the earlier felsic lavas that form the shield of the Itcha Volcanic Complex (IVC), of the Anahim Volcanic Belt (AVB) in central British Columbia (B.C.). The mafic capping stage of the IVC is dominated by hawaiites which are the earliest of the mafic lavas, and are succeeded by alkali olivine basalts (AOB) and then by basanites. The alkali olivine basalts can be subdivided into high-, intermediate- and low-MgO AOB groups, all of which share similar HFSE ratios (e.g. Nb/Zr) with the hawaiites. High Al contents and Sr/Zr ratios indicate that hawaiites and Fe-rich evolved AOB were derived from primitive AOB parental magmas by crystal fractionation of a wehrlitic assemblage at pressures on the order of 8 to 10 kbar. High Si and low Fe contents indicate that the majority of the evolved AOB lavas, however, do not represent an intermediate stage in the liquid line of descent to hawaiites, but were most likely produced by gabbroic fractionation from primitive AOB magmas at relatively low pressures. The parental magmas of the majority of these lavas were distinct from those of the observed high-MgO basalts, having higher HFSE contents and being more Si-under-saturated. The high Al, high Sr/Zr signature of high-pressure fractionation of a clinopyroxene-dominated assemblage in the IVC is shared by hawaiites of other alkaline volcanic suites of the Canadian Cordillera, such as the Edziza Volcanic Complex in northern B.C. and appears to be a feature of hawaiites in many localities, including Hawaii and Iceland. Viscosities calculated for both high- and low-pressure crystal fractionation models suggest that aphyric hawaiites are residual liquids escaped from a wehrlitic crystalline network, at elevated pressures, possibly at the base of the crust.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology