Evolución petrológica y geoquímica del vulcanismo bimodal oligocénico en el campo volcánico de San Luis Potosí (México)

  • Rodolfo Rodríguez-Ríos
  • Juan Manuel Torres-Aguilera
  • Juan Manuel Torres-Aguilera
Keywords: Bimodal volcanism, extensional tectonics, Oligocene, partial melting, fractional crystallization


This work reports fi eld, petrographic and geochemical data (major and trace elements, including the rare-earth elements – REE) of a late Oligocene rhyolitic ignimbrite (Riolita Panalillo, Trp) and lavas of intermediate composition (basalto La Placa, Tbp) that were concurrently emplaced in the San Luís Potosí volcanic fi eld (SLPVF), and more specifi cally, within the structure known as Bledos graben. Both volcanic units (Trp and Tbp) belong to a volcanic event of Oligocene age, with a restricted age range between 27 and 28 Ma. This volcanism generated sub-alkaline rocks that form a typical bimodal series, composed mainly by basaltic andesite and rhyolitic ignimbrite. The regional tectonic environment is basically distensive and associated with extension that occurred during the Oligocene. The rhyolitic ignimbrite has a sub-alkaline and hyperaluminous character. The chondrite-normalized REE patterns of this rhyolitic unit (Trp) display a negative Eu anomaly, which suggests fractional crystallization of plagioclase. This is also supported by the behavior of some elements such as Sr, Ba, and Ti. Moreover, the Rb vs. Y+Nb relationship suggests an intraplate tectonic environment. The mineralogy of this ignimbrite is relatively simple and mainly consists of: potassic feldspar > quartz > plagioclase > opaque minerals. Regarding the intermediate lavas (Tbp), they have a slightly sub-alkaline character and differ from the rhyolitic ignimbrite in their metaluminous character. Their REE paterns have relatively fl at slopes, with only a slight enrichment in light-REE, and do not show Eu anomalies. The behavior of trace elements such as Sr, Ba, Rb, Nb, and Th, suggest that partial melting of the upper mantle played an important role in the genesis of these magmas. Similarly, the Ti/Y–Zr/Y and Zr–Zr/Y relationships also suggest an intraplate tectonic environment. The petrographic analysis of these lavas shows that the main rock-forming minerals are: plagioclase> olivine> Fe-Ti oxides > quartz. The combined, petrographic, geochemical and fi eld data, as well as the ages of these units, suggest that the rhyolitic ignimbrite and the intermediate lavas may be considered as a group within the SLPVF, spatially as well as temporarily associated. Possible magma mixing processes are revealed by the presence of reaction rings in plagioclase of the Tbp unit, as well as by reaction halos in olivine and mafi c rock fragments within the Trp unit. Another important point worth mentioning is that these units could be co-magmatic.