Diverse late-stage crystallization and storage conditions in melt domains from the Youngest Toba Tuff revealed by age and compositional heterogeneity in the last increment of accessory phase growth

  • Casey R. TierneyEmail author
  • Mary R. Reid
  • Jorge A. Vazquez
  • Craig A. Chesner
Original Paper


The chemical record contained within the final increment of growth on crystals is utilized to reveal the dynamics and timescales of magma assembly and storage before eruption of the cataclysmic 2800 km3 Youngest Toba Tuff (YTT), Indonesia. In situ U–Th disequilibrium dates and trace element concentrations were obtained via secondary ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS) on unsectioned and unpolished faces of individual zircon and allanite crystals. The six high-silica (> 73 wt% SiO2) pumices from which crystals were derived are among the more evolved and lower crystallinity (< 25 wt%) pumices from the YTT eruption, and likely represent the melt-dominated portion of the magma system. Discrete SIMS measurement cycles were coupled with statistical treatments to detect zircon and allanite surface zoning domains at the ~ 1 µm scale. Coupled r-MELTS and accessory phase saturation modeling indicates that at the granite ternary minimum or ‘eutectoid’ conditions that define this portion of the YTT, zircon and allanite crystallization is dependent on and proportionate to major phase crystallization, and is more limited than at pre-eutectoid conditions. A lower proportion of near-eruption zircon surface ages in the comparatively cool and wet YTT relative to other hotter and drier voluminous silicic eruptions could reflect the influence of eutectoid storage conditions on magmatic responses to remobilization-related magmatic recharge.


Zircon Allanite Geochronology Youngest Toba Tuff Rhyolite Magma residence time 



We are grateful for the assistance provided by Matt Coble, Marsha Lidzbarski and Seth Burgess with mineral preparation and analyses at the Stanford/U.S. Geological Survey SHRIMP-RG Lab. Glass U-Series chemical separations and measurements were possible through the generous support and guidance of Kari Cooper, Allie Rubin, Kevin Schrecengost and Justin Glessner at UC Davis. Thanks also to Rick Hervig and Lynda Williams for use of the stylus profilometer at Arizona State University. Finally, we thank Seth Burgess, Olivier Bachmann, and Laura Waters for their insightful comments and suggestions that helped to improve this paper. This work was made possible by National Science Foundation grant EAR-1322077. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US Government.

Supplementary material

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Supplemental Fig. 1. Probability density plots (PDPs) of composite zircon surface (solid blue line) and interior 238U–230Th model-isochron slope (and ages) (dashed blue line) contrasted with composite allanite surfaces (solid red line) from studied HSR pumices. PDP obtained using Isoplot v4.15; Ludwig 2003 where the Y-axis represents relative probability. Eruption age indicated by vertical dashed red line at 74 ka. Supplemental Fig. 2. Zircon surface ages versus corresponding interior crystallization age from the same crystal (top) and the percent difference between the interior and surface ages (bottom). Supplemental Fig. 3. Comparison in zircon (top) and allanite (bottom) surface ages resulting from different statistical treatments. Separate YTT HSR pumices indicated by different symbols (see legends) and associated 1σ shown by black bars. 1:1 shown as black dashed line. Supplemental Fig. 4a. Zircon interelement ratios vs Zr/Hf (left) and vs age (right) for HSR zircon surfaces determined via statistical treatment #1 (Sequential clustering of cycles by the mean square of the weighted deviates (MSWD). Larger symbols indicate analyses with U–Th dates within 1σ error of eruption. Separate YTT HSR pumices indicated by different symbols (see legend). Eu* is calculated using the expression Eu* = Eu/((Sm * Gd)^0.5). Supplemental Fig. 4b. Zircon interelement ratios vs Zr/Hf (left) and vs age (right) for HSR zircon surfaces determined via statistical treatment #3 (Stratigraphic modeling using Isoplot v.4.15 (Ludwig 2003) coupled with mixture modeling). Larger symbols indicate analyses with U–Th dates within 1σ error of eruption. Separate YTT HSR pumices indicated by different symbols (see legend). Eu* is calculated using the expression Eu* = Eu/((Sm*Gd)^0.5).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Casey R. Tierney
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mary R. Reid
    • 1
  • Jorge A. Vazquez
    • 2
  • Craig A. Chesner
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Earth and SustainabilityNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Geological SurveyMenlo ParkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Geology/GeographyEastern Illinois UniversityCharlestonUSA

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