Untangling differentiation in arc lavas: Constraints from unusual minor and trace element variations at Salak Volcano, Indonesia

Heather K. Handley*, Jon P. Davidson, Colin G. Macpherson, James A. Stimac

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Volcanic rocks from Salak Volcano in West Java display intriguing minor and trace element geochemical variations with silica. TiO2 and P2O5 contents, Y, HFSE and REE concentrations are abnormally rich in the Central Vent Group (CVG) lavas (e.g. Y = 32-69 ppm; Yb, 3-6.5 ppm) and display striking positive correlations with SiO2. This contrasts with rocks erupted at side vents (SVG) on the eastern and western flanks of Salak and with rock suites of most other Javan volcanoes where these elements remain relatively constant with increasing SiO2. Modelling of major and trace element data indicate that low pressure fractional crystallisation exerts strong control on the composition of CVG lavas. HFSE and HREE data are inconsistent with magma mixing, and can be explained by incompatible behaviour during fractionation of plagioclase, clinopyroxene and Fe-Ti oxide ± orthopyroxene and olivine. The observed variations in K/Rb and Ba/Th ratios and correlation of 87Sr/86Sr with indices of differentiation necessitate assimilation of a low K/Rb, low Ba/Th, Sr-rich contaminant with 87Sr/86Sr of ~ 0.7048 during fractional crystallisation. For the eastern flank SVG, deep fractionation of a phase in which HFSE and HREE are compatible (e.g. amphibole) is implicated. By extension, this is also suggested to occur beneath the majority of Javan volcanoes. Radiogenic isotope ratios (Sr-Hf-Nd) of Salak lavas are similar to other Javan lavas. SVG rocks erupted from the eastern flank vent have significantly more primitive Hf-Nd isotope ratios than other Salak volcanic rocks and may represent the least contaminated (by arc crust or subduction input) Salak lavas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-376
Number of pages17
JournalChemical Geology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Crustal contamination
  • Fractional crystallisation
  • Geochemistry
  • HFSE
  • Petrogenesis
  • Sunda arc


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