Geology and geochemistry of basaltic lava flows and dikes from the Trans-Koolau tunnel, Oahu, Hawaii

  • Jackson M
  • Frey F
  • Garcia M
 et al. 
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Abstract

A 200-m section of Koolau basalt was sampled in the 1.6-km Trans-Koolau (T-K) tunnel. The section includes 126 aa and pahoehoe lava flows, five dikes and ten thin ash units. This volcanic section and the physical characteristics of the lava flows indicate derivation from the nearby northwest rift zone of the Koolau shield. The top of the section is inferred to be 500-600 m below the pre-erosional surface of the Koolau shield. Therefore, compared with previously studied Koolau lavas, this section provides a deeper, presumably older, sampling of the shield. Shield lavas from Koolau Volcano define a geochemical end-member for Hawaiian shields. Most of the tunnel lavas have the distinctive major and trace element abundance features (e.g, relatively high SiO2 content and Zr/Nb abundance ratio) that characterize Koolau lavas. In addition, relative to the recent shield lavas erupted at Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, most Koolau lavas have lower abundances of Sc, Y and Yb at a given MgO content; this result is consistent with a more important role for residual garnet during the partial melting processes that created Koolau shield lavas. Koolau lavas with the strongest residual garnet signature have relatively high Sr-87/Sr-86, Os-187/Os-188, O-18/O-16, and low Nd-143/Nd-144. These isotopic characteristics have been previously interpreted to reflect a source component of recycled oceanic crust that was recrystallized to garnet pyroxenite. This component also has high La/Nb and relatively low Pb-206/Pb-204, geochemical characteristics which are attributed to ancient pelagic sediment in the recycled crust. Although most Koolau lavas define a geochemical endmember for Hawaiian shield lavas, there is considerable intrashield geochemical variability that is inferred to reflect source characteristics. The oldest T-K tunnel lava flow is an example. It has the lowest Sr-87/Sr-86, Zr/Nb and La/Nb, and the highest Nd-143/Nd-144 ratio found in Koolau lavas. In most respects it is similar to lavas from Kilauea Volcano. Therefore, the geochemical characteristics of the Koolau shield, which define an end member for Hawaiian shields, reflect an important role for recycled oceanic crust, but the proportion of this crust in the source varied during growth of the Koolau shield.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Hawaiian shield lavas
  • Igneous geochemistry
  • Koolau Volcano
  • Recycling of oceanic crust

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