Magmatism accompanies rifting along divergent plate boundaries, although its role before continental breakup remains poorly understood. For example, the magma-assisted Northern Main Ethiopian Rift (NMER) lacks current volcanism and clear tectono-magmatic relationships with its contiguous rift portions. Here we define its magmatic behaviour, identifying the most recent eruptive fissures (EF) whose aphyric basalts have a higher Ti content than those of older monogenetic scoria cones (MSC), which are porphyritic and plagioclase-dominated. Despite these differences, calculations highlight a similar parental melt for EF and MSC products, suggesting only a different evolutionary history after melt generation. While MSC magmas underwent a further step of storage at intermediate crustal levels, EF magmas rose directly from the base of the crust without contamination, even below older polygenetic volcanoes, suggesting rapid propagation of transcrustal dikes across solidified magma chambers. Whether this recent condition in the NMER is stable or transient, it indicates a transition from central polygenetic to linear fissure volcanism, indicative of increased tensile conditions and volcanism directly fed from the base of the crust, suggesting transition towards mature rifting.

Catching the Main Ethiopian Rift evolving towards plate divergence

Marco Viccaro;
2021

Abstract

Magmatism accompanies rifting along divergent plate boundaries, although its role before continental breakup remains poorly understood. For example, the magma-assisted Northern Main Ethiopian Rift (NMER) lacks current volcanism and clear tectono-magmatic relationships with its contiguous rift portions. Here we define its magmatic behaviour, identifying the most recent eruptive fissures (EF) whose aphyric basalts have a higher Ti content than those of older monogenetic scoria cones (MSC), which are porphyritic and plagioclase-dominated. Despite these differences, calculations highlight a similar parental melt for EF and MSC products, suggesting only a different evolutionary history after melt generation. While MSC magmas underwent a further step of storage at intermediate crustal levels, EF magmas rose directly from the base of the crust without contamination, even below older polygenetic volcanoes, suggesting rapid propagation of transcrustal dikes across solidified magma chambers. Whether this recent condition in the NMER is stable or transient, it indicates a transition from central polygenetic to linear fissure volcanism, indicative of increased tensile conditions and volcanism directly fed from the base of the crust, suggesting transition towards mature rifting.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/541062
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