Mantle versus crustal contributions in crustal‐scale magmatic systems (Sesia Magmatic System, northern Italy) from coupling Hf isotopes and numerical modelling

Storck, Julian-Christopher; Laurent, Oscar; Karakas, Ozge; Wotzlaw, Jörn-Frederik; Galli, Andrea; Sinigoi, Silvano; Bachmann, Olivier; Chelle-Michou, Cyril (2021). Mantle versus crustal contributions in crustal‐scale magmatic systems (Sesia Magmatic System, northern Italy) from coupling Hf isotopes and numerical modelling. Contributions to mineralogy and petrology, 176(11) Springer-Verlag 10.1007/s00410-021-01847-9

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The growth and evolution of crustal-scale magmatic systems play a key role in the generation of the continental crust, the largest eruptions on Earth, and the formation of metal resources vital to our society. However, such systems are rarely exposed on the Earth’s surface, limiting our knowledge about the magmatic processes occurring throughout the crust to indirect geo- chemical and petrographic data obtained from the shallowest part of the system. The Hf isotopic composition of accessory zircon is widely used to quantify crust-mantle evolution and mass transfers to and within the crust. Here we combine single- grain zircon Hf isotopic analysis by LA-MC-ICP-MS with thermal modelling to one of the best-studied crustal-scale igneous systems (Sesia Magmatic System, northern Italy), to quantify the relative contribution of crustal- and mantle-derived magmas in the entire system. Zircons from the deep gabbroic units define a tight range of εHf (−2.5 ± 1.5). Granites and rhyolites overlap with this range but tail towards significantly more negative values (down to −9.5). This confirms that the entire system consists of hybrid magmas that stem from both differentiation of mantle-derived magmas and melting of the crust. Thermal modelling suggests that crustal melting and assimilation predominantly occurs during emplacement and evolution of magmas in the lower crust, although melt production is heterogeneous within the bodies both spatially and temporally. The spatial and temporal heterogeneity resolved by the thermal model is consistent with the observed Hf isotope variations within and between samples, and in agreement with published bulk-rock Sr–Nd isotopic data. On average, the crustal con- tribution to the entire system determined by mixing calculations based on Hf isotopic data range between 10 and 40%, even with conservative assumptions, whereas the thermal model suggests that this space- and time-averaged contribution does not exceed 20%. However, spatial and temporal variations in the crustal melt proportion (from 0 up to 80% as observed in the thermal model) may impart significant isotopic variability to different batches of magma observed on the outcrop scale, emphasizing the need to consider a magmatic system as a whole, i.e., by integrating all spatial and temporal scales, to more precisely quantify crustal growth vs. reworking.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Storck, Julian-Christopher


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology








Julian-Christopher Storck

Date Deposited:

09 Nov 2021 10:20

Last Modified:

14 Nov 2021 01:45

Publisher DOI:





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