Geochemical constraints on the petrogenesis of high-Mg basaltic andesites from the Northern Taiwan volcanic zone

Kuo Lung Wang*, Sun Lin Chung, Chang Hwa Chen, G. Hong Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    The Northern Taiwan Volcanic Zone (NTVZ) is a Late Pliocene-Quaternary volcanic field that occurred as a result of extensional collapse of the northern Taiwan mountain belt. We report here mineral compositions, major and trace element and Sr/Nd isotope data of high-Mg basaltic andesites from the Mienhuaya, a volcanic islet formed at Ο 2.6 Ma in the central part of the NTVZ. The rocks are hypocrystalline, showing porphyritic texture with Mg-rich olivine (Fo ≈ 81-80), bronzite (En ≈ 82-79) and plagioclase (An ≈ 66-58) as major phenocryst phases. They have uniform whole-rock compositions, marked by high magnesium (MgO ≈ 5.9-8.1 wt.%, Mg value ≈ 0.6) relative to accompanying silica contents (SiO2 ≈ 52.8-54.5 wt.%). The high-Mg basaltic andesites contain the highest TiO2(Ο 1.5 wt.%) and lowest K2O (Ο 0.4 wt.%) among the NTVZ volcanic rocks. In the incompatible element variation diagram, these Mienhuayu magmas exhibit mild enrichments in large ion lithophile (LILE) and light rare earth elements (LREE), coupled with an apparent Pb-positive spike. They do not display depletions in high field strength elements (HFSE), a feature observed universally in the other NTVZ volcanics. The high-Mg basaltic andesites have rather unradiogenic Nd (εNd ≈ +5.1-7.2) but apparently elevated Sr (87Sr/86Sr ≈ 0.70435-0.70543; leached values) isotope ratios. Their overall geochemical and isotopic characteristics are similar to mid-Miocene (Ο 13 Ma) high-Mg andesites from the Iriomote-jima, southern Ryukyus, Japan. Despite these magmas have lower LILE and LREE enrichments and Pb positive spike, their "intraplate-type" incompatible element variation patterns are comparable to those of extension-induced Miocene intraplate basalts emplaced in the Taiwan-Fujian region. Therefore, we interpret the Mienhuayu magmas as silica-saturated melts derived from decompression melting of the ascended asthenosphere that had been subtly affected by the adjacent Ryukyu subduction zone processes. This interpretation is consistent with the notion that in the northern Taiwan mountain belt post-orogenic lithospheric extension started in Plio-Pleistocene time.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)513-528
    Number of pages16
    JournalChemical Geology
    Issue number2-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • Geochemistry
    • High-Mg basaltic andesite
    • Post-orogenic magmatism
    • Ryukyu subduction
    • Taiwan

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