Arc adakitic-like signatures caused by amphibole fractionation: An example from 20 Ma granitoids, Charco Rico district, Panama

Scott Whattam, Carlos Carrasco, Lisard Torró, Hossein Azizi, Youn Joong Jeong, Sabyasachi Chattopadhyay, Tim Ireland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Charco Rico prospective comprises a segment of the Sierra de Majé massif in Central Panama, an intrusive complex constructed during a lull in volcanic activity between 40 and 16 Ma at the 75–0 Ma Central American Volcanic arc system (CAVAS). Charco Rico represents an intermediate suite (55–65 wt% SiO2) but with inclusion of related Majé intrusives, range from gabbro to granodiorite. Zircon U–Pb dating of Charco Rico granitoids yield LA-ICP-MS ages of 20.2 ± 0.9 to 19.1 ± 1.5 Ma. Their formation is consistent with maximum partial melting of ∼10% of a Sr-enriched (i.e., amphibolite) N-MORB like source followed by fractional crystallization of hornblende at about 0.8 GPa (∼29 km depth). Zirconium saturation thermometry shows a temperature of magma crystallization of 700–800 °C which essentially is a record of amphibole crystallization temperature. Whole rock chemistry of the Charco Rico and Majé intrusives and other 32–20 Ma arc-related suites in Panama record chemical parameters similar to adakite, e.g., Sr/Y that ranges to 80, high LREE/HREE ratios, and depletion in HREE (Yb, Lu). A fundamental chemical attribute of these suites, however, is depletion of MREE, and particularly Ho, relative to LREE and HREE, and the absence of Eu-anomalies. These features, together with positive and negative correlations of La/Yb and Dy/Yb with SiO2, respectively, infer a dominant role of amphibole fractionation from basaltic magma and/or residue during partial melting of older calc-alkaline bodies in the lower crust. 176Hf/177Hf ratios in zircon grains range from 0.282925 to 0.283192 and record εHft between +5.8 and + 15.3, which are indicative of a depleted mantle (juvenile) source and/or recycling (partial melting) of older juvenile crust. TDM incubation ages range to higher than 300 Ma, which may reflect old basement recycling. Partial melting of the depleted mantle ± lower crust may have been facilitated by a combination of hot asthenospheric upwelling during slab rollback, slab tear or lithospheric delamination, and simultaneous thinning of the continental crust under extension. Whole rock chemistry and reported cumulate hornblende in host granites with adakitic-like signatures, infer that hornblende differentiation controlled the magma chemistry and migration to high-SiO2 rocks with ‘adakite’ signatures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107363
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2023


  • Adakite
  • Amphibole fractionation
  • Central American Arc
  • Charco Rico
  • Granitoids


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