The 2023 Litli-Hrútur eruption of the Fagradalsfjall Fires, SW-Iceland: Insights from trace element compositions of olivine



This study provides data on the trace element composition of olivine from olivine tholeiitic basalts sampled during the July–August 2023 Litli-Hrútur eruption of the Fagradalsfjall Fires in the Reykjanes Volcanic Belt. Chemistry of the Litli-Hrútur olivine is characteristic for volcanic olivine crystals that represent products of magmatic crystallisation. The investigated olivine megacrysts show forsterite (Fo) content in the range of 81 (rims) to 85 (cores) mole percent [defined as Fo = Mg/(Mg + Fe)]. Olivine Ni concentrations (1540–1840 ppm) correlate positively with the Fo contents. In addition, Ca contents show a range from 1890 to 2460 ppm at relatively low Ti concentrations. Olivine from the Litli-Hrútur samples shows an equilibrium with peridotitic mantle melts, yet the data show that the 2023 Litli-Hrútur and the 2022 Meradalir olivine populations crystallised from compositionally more evolved magma batches than olivine crystals from the 2021 Geldingadalir eruption of the Fagradalsfjall Fires. These results imply that magmatic differentiation has taken place between the initial 2021 events and the subsequent 2022 and 2023 eruptions as a result of crystal–liquid fractionation, shifting the overall magma chemistry towards more evolved compositions with time. This implies that fractional crystallisation in sub-alkaline magma reservoirs operates on the scale of years, which is a fundamental advance in our understanding of these common magmatic systems.

olivine; Reykjanes Peninsula; Litli-Hrútur lava; peridotitic mantle; LA-ICP-MS

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Web sources / Other sources

[1] Icelandic Meteorological Office.

[2] Rannsóknareining í eldfjallafræði og náttúruvá, Háskóli Íslands.

[3] Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland.



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