The Mount Perkins Block, northwestern Arizona; an exposed cross section of an evolving, preextensional to synextensional magmatic system

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Journal of Geophysical Research

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The steeply tilted Mount Perkins block, northwestern Arizona, exposes a cross section of a magmatic system that evolved through the onset of regional extension. New (super 40) Ar/ (super 39) Ar ages of variably tilted (0-90 degrees ) volcanic strata bracket extension between 15.7 and 11.3 Ma. Preextensional intrusive activity included emplacement of a composite Miocene laccolith and stock, trachydacite dome complex, and east striking rhyolite dikes. Related volcanic activity produced an approximately 18-16 Ma stratovolcano, cored by trachydacite domes and flanked by trachydacite-trachyandesite flows, and approximately 16 Ma rhyolite flows. Similar compositions indicate a genetic link between the stratovolcano and granodioritic phase of the laccolith. Magmatic activity synchronous with early regional extension (15.7-14.5 Ma) generated a thick, felsic volcanic sequence, a swarm of northerly striking subvertical rhyolite dikes, and rhyolite domes. Field relations and compositions indicate that the dike swarm and felsic volcanic sequence are cogenetic. Modes of magma emplacement changed during the onset of extension from subhorizontal sheets, east striking dikes, and stocks to northerly striking, subvertical dike swarms, as the regional stress field shifted from nearly isotropic to decidedly anisotropic with an east-west trending, horizontal least principal stress. Preextensional trachydacitic and preextensional to synextensional rhyolitic magmas were part of an evolving system, which involved the ponding of mantle-derived basaltic magmas and ensuing crustal melting and assimilation at progressively shallower levels. Major extension halted this system by generating abundant pathways to the surface (fractures), which flushed out preexisting crustal melts and hybrid magmas. Remaining silicic melts were quenched by rapid, upper crustal cooling induced by tectonic denudation. These processes facilitated eruption of mafic magmas. Accordingly, silicic magmatism at Mount Perkins ended abruptly during peak extension approximately 14.5 Ma and gave way to mafic magmatism, which continued until extension ceased. Copyright 1995 by the American Geophysical Union.

Published Article/Book Citation

Journal of Geophysical Research, 100:B8 (1995) pp.15249-15266.

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