Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The paper presents major and trace element data and mineral compositions for a series of foiditic-tephritic to phonolitic rocks coming from Monte Vulture, Southern Italy, and investigates their origin, evolution and relationship with the other centres of the Roman province. Major and trace element variation in the foiditic to tephritic suite agrees with a hypothesis of evolution by simple crystal/liquid fractionation, whereas the early erupted phonolitic trachytes and phonolites have geochemical characteristics which do not support their derivation from tephritic magma by crystal fractionation. Foiditic and phonolitic rocks have mineral compositions which are interpreted as indicating magma mixing. However geochemical evidence shows that this process did not play an important role during the magma evolution. The Vulture rocks have compositional peculiarities such as high abundance of Na2O, CaO, Cl and S, when compared with other Roman volcanics. Instead, the distribution of incompatible elements is similar to those of Roman rocks, except for a lower content of Rb and K, higher P and lower Th/Ta and Th/Nb ratios which are still close to the values of arc volcanics. The high contents of Na, Ca and of volatile components are tentatively attributed to the interaction of magma with aqueous solutions, rich in calcium sulphate and sodium chloride, related to the Miocene or Triassic evaporites occurring within the sedimentary sequence underlying the volcano. The distribution pattern of the incompatible elements is interpreted as indicative of magma-forming in a subduction modified upper mantle and of the peculiar location of M. Vulture.
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