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F. Ronga, M. Lustrino, A. Marzoli & L. Melluso


Petrogenesis of a basalt-comendite-pantellerite rock suite:
the Boseti Volcanic Complex (Main Ethiopian Rift)


Mineralogy and Petrology (2010) 98:227-243

DOI 10.1007/s00710-009-0064-3



Petrological and geochemical data for basic (alkali basalts and hawaiites) and silicic peralkaline rocks, plus rare intermediate products (mugearites and benmoreites) from the Pleistocene Boseti volcanic complex (Main Ethiopian Rift, East Africa) are reported in this work. The basalts are slightly alkaline or transitional, have peaks at Ba and Nb in the mantle-normalized diagrams and relatively low 87Sr/86Sr (0.7039-0.7044). The silicic rocks (pantellerites and comendites) are rich in sanidine and anorthoclase, with mafic phases being represented by fayalite-rich olivine, opaque oxides, aenigmatite and slightly Na-rich ferroaugite (ferrohedenbergite). These rocks were generated after prolonged fractional crystallization process (up to 90-95 %) starting from basaltic parent magmas at shallow depths and fO2 conditions near the QFM buffer. The apparent Daly Gap between mafic and evolved Boseti rocks is explained with a model involving the silicic products filling upper crustal magma chambers and erupted preferentially with respect to basic and intermediate products. Evolved liquids could have been the only magmas which filled the uppermost magma reservoirs in the crust, thus giving time to evolve towards Rb-, Zr- and Nb-rich peralkaline rhyolites in broadly closed systems.