skip all navigation
skip banner links
skip primary navigation

Geochemistry of the Carrizozo Malpais Basalt

The lava that forms the Carrizozo lava flows is alkaline to transitional olivine basalt (Faris, 1980) and the rock is typically unaltered. Anthony et al. (1998) note that the lava that forms the Carrizozo flows is transitional between hypersthene and nepheline-normative, and that it is likely to be derived from mantle that is either enriched in incompatible elements, or has undergone some crustal contamination. Faris (1980) suggests that the Carrizozo basalts were formed from 4-6% partial melting of a spinel-peridotite parent. Although some compositional trends are observed within the Carrizozo lavas, consistent with a small degree of fractionation of olivine +/- pyroxene, the chemical composition of the lower flow is, on average very close to the upper (Faris, 1980; Renault, 1970).

Total alkali-silica diagram (after Cox et al., 1979) showing the composition of the Carrizozo basalt as red points. The Carrizozo lava falls in the basaltic field, at the join between alkalic and sub-alkalic composition. For an enlargement, click on the diagram.

Total alkali-silica diagram showing the alkaline-subalkaline fields. The Carrizozo basaltic lava composition falls at the boundary between the two fields.