Bontĝu is a major eroded composite volcano filling the Miocene Zĝrand extensional basin, near the junction between the Codru-Moma and Highiş-Drocea Mountains, at the tectonic boundary between the South and North Apuseni Mountains. It is a quasi-symmetric structure (16-18 km in diameter) centered on an eroded vent area (9×4 km), buttressed to the south against Mesozoic ophiolites and sedimentary deposits of the South Apuseni Mountains. The volcano was built up in two sub-aerial phases (14-12.5 Ma and 11-10 Ma) from successive eruptions of andesite lava and pyroclastic rocks with a time-increasing volatile budget. The initial phase was dominated by emplacement of pyroxene andesite and resulted in scattered individual volcanic lava domes associated marginally with lava flows and/or pyroclastic block-and-ash flows. The second phase is characterized by amphibole-pyroxene andesite as a succession of pyroclastic eruptions (varying from strombolian to subplinian type) and extrusion of volcanic domes that resulted in the formation of a central vent area. Numerous debris flow deposits accumulated at the periphery of primary pyroclastic deposits. Several intrusive andesitic-dioritic bodies and associated hydrothermal and mineralization processes are known in the volcano vent complex area. Distal epiclastic deposits initially as gravity mass flows and then as alluvial volcaniclastic and terrestrial detritic and coal filled the basin around the volcano in its western and eastern part.Chemical analyses show that lavas are calc-alkaline andesites with SiO2 ranging from 56-61%. The petrographical differences between the two stages are an increase in amphibole content at the expense of two pyroxenes (augite and hypersthene) in the second stage of eruption; CaO and MgO contents decrease with increasing SiO2. In spite of a ~4 Ma evolution, the compositions of calc-alkaline lavas suggest similar fractionation processes. The extensional setting favored two pulses of short-lived magma chamber processes.
- Apuseni Mountains
- composite volcano
- extensional setting
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)