Transient rhyolite melt extraction to produce a shallow granitic pluton

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Rhyolitic melt that fuels explosive eruptions often originates in the upper crust via extraction from crystal-rich sources, implying an evolutionary link between volcanism and residual plutonism. However, the time scales over which these systems evolve are mainly understood through erupted deposits, limiting confirmation of this connection. Exhumed plutons that preserve a record of high-silica melt segregation provide a critical subvolcanic perspective on rhyolite generation, permitting comparison between time scales of long-term assembly and transient melt extraction events. Here, U-Pb zircon petrochronology and 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology constrain silicic melt segregation and residual cumulate formation in a ∼7 to 6 Ma, shallow (3 to 7 km depth) Andean pluton. Thermo-petrological simulations linked to a zircon saturation model map spatiotemporal melt flux distributions. Our findings suggest that ∼50 km3 of rhyolitic melt was extracted in ∼130 ka, transient pluton assembly that indicates the thermal viability of advanced magma differentiation in the upper crust. © 2021 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved.


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