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The use of biotite trace element compositions for fingerprinting magma batches at Las Cañadas volcano, Tenerife

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 19:20 authored by Sliwinski, JT, Ellis, BS, Davila-Harris, P, Wolff, JA, Paul OlinPaul Olin, Bachmann, O

Accurate identification of individual volcanic events in the field is crucial for constraining eruption volumes and calculating recurrence intervals between eruptive episodes. Due to complexities of pyroclastic transport and deposition and intra-unit textural variability, such identification can be challenging. We present a novel method for fingerprinting ignimbrites via trace element chemistry (V, Co, Nb) in biotite by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Using samples from the alkaline magmatic series of Tenerife, we are able to demonstrate (1) clustering of previously characterized units into distinct, homogeneous groups based on V, Co, and Nb concentrations in biotite, despite the presence of extreme variation and zonation in other trace elements (Ba, Sr, Rb) that indicate complex petrogenetic processes, and (2) biotite compositions are similar throughout a deposit and relatively independent of stratigraphic height or juvenile clast texture (crystal-rich vs crystal-poor). Our results show that trace elements in biotite can be used to fingerprint eruptions and correlate geographically separated volcanic deposits, including those preserved in offshore turbidite records.


Publication title

Bulletin of Volcanology








School of Natural Sciences



Place of publication

175 Fifth Ave, New York, USA, Ny, 10010

Rights statement

Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences

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