Primitive andesites from the Taupo Volcanic Zone formed by magma mixing

Christoph Beier*, Karsten M. Haase, Philipp A. Brandl, Stefan H. Krumm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Andesites with Mg# >45 erupted at subduction zones form either by partial melting of metasomatized mantle or by mixing and assimilation processes during melt ascent. Primitive whole rock basaltic andesites from the Pukeonake vent in the Tongariro Volcanic Centre in New Zealand’s Taupo Volcanic Zone contain olivine, clino- and orthopyroxene, and plagioclase xeno- and antecrysts in a partly glassy matrix. Glass pools interstitial between minerals and glass inclusions in clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene and plagioclase as well as matrix glasses are rhyolitic to dacitic indicating that the melts were more evolved than their andesitic bulk host rock analyses indicate. Olivine xenocrysts have high Fo contents up to 94%, δ18O(SMOW) of +5.1‰, and contain Cr-spinel inclusions, all of which imply an origin in equilibrium with primitive mantle-derived melts. Mineral zoning in olivine, clinopyroxene and plagioclase suggest that fractional crystallization occurred. Elevated O isotope ratios in clinopyroxene and glass indicate that the lavas assimilated sedimentary rocks during stagnation in the crust. Thus, the Pukeonake andesites formed by a combination of fractional crystallization, assimilation of crustal rocks, and mixing of dacite liquid with mantle-derived minerals in a complex crustal magma system. The disequilibrium textures and O isotope compositions of the minerals indicate mixing processes on timescales of less than a year prior to eruption. Similar processes may occur in other subduction zones and require careful study of the lavas to determine the origin of andesite magmas in arc volcanoes situated on continental crust.

Original languageEnglish
Article number33
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Taupo Volcanic Zone
  • primitive andesites
  • magma mixing
  • subduction zones
  • crustal magmatic processes


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