A Binary Source Model for Extension-Related Magmatism in the Great Basin, Western North America

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  03 Dec 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5139, pp. 1550-1554
DOI: 10.1126/science.262.5139.1550


Models for extension-related magmatism based on decompression melting of asthenospheric mantle poorly simulate fluxes and bulk compositions of magmas produced during early stages of continental extension. For the Great Basin of western North America, it is proposed that magmatism proceeded in two stages, the first involving melting of lithospheric mantle sources between 40 and ∼5 million years ago (Ma), followed (since ∼5 Ma) by melting of upwelling asthenospheric mantle in areas where extension has exceeded about 100 percent. This transition in magma sources is diachronous, depending on initial variations in lithosphere thickness and on rates of lithospheric thinning.