The Gold Flat Tuff, Nevada: Insights into the Evolution of Peralkaline Silicic Magmas.

Author ORCID Identifier

John C. White ORCID iD icon


Physics, Geosciences, and Astronomy

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Publication Date

Winter 1-2019


The Gold Flat Tuff is the youngest (9.15 Ma) ash-flow sheet erupted from the Black Mountain Volcanic Centre, southwest Nevada, USA. This paper explores some aspects of the very complex nature of the tuff's magmatic plumbing system. The main body of the deposit is a mixed magma product, comprising pantelleritic and comenditic melts derived from independently evolving reservoirs, and antecrysts and enclaves derived from a range of basic to intermediate sources. Metre-scale cognate xenoliths point to the presence of alkali feldspar accumulation zones. The pantellerite contains phenocrysts of fluorite and chevkinite-(Ce). The inferred intermediate magma component contains perrierite-(Ce) phenocrysts. The pantellerite has unusually high contents of F (≤2.2 wt%), F + Cl (≤2.9 wt%) and ZrO2 (≤1.04 wt%). The high halogen contents may have influenced the evolution of the strongly peralkaline magma. The crystallization conditions are poorly constrained but those for the pantelleritic magma may have been close to water-saturation (>4 wt% melt water) at temperatures ~740 °C and fO2 around FMQ.

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