Plagioclase crystals from four basalt samples dredged from different portions of the Marsili seamount (Southern Tyrrhenian, Italy) provide a detailed record of the changes occurring in the surrounding magma during its ascent in the crust. The textural features and chemical zoning (i.e., An content and Fe, Mg, Sr and Ba concentrations) of the plagioclases from each sample show that aggregation of various generations of crystals occurred in the host melt prior to eruption. Plagioclases resulting from crystallisation in small sill intrusions, where local flotation of plagioclase may have occurred, are ubiquitous. Instead, large (up to 1 mm) homogeneous An-rich plagioclases are rare and have only been found in two of the studied basalts, recovered from the northern and southern portions of the volcano, respectively. These crystals record crystallisation events occurring long before eruption, and probably derive from deep-seated crystalline material. At the highest An values, the Sr and Ba concentrations of the studied plagioclases also indicate the existence of two distinct mafic magmas within the lower crustal plumbing system of the Marsili volcano, one with lower Sr and Ba contents than the other. Three of the four stud- ied basalts came from magma with low Sr and Ba, whereas the fourth, which erupted from the southern portion of the volcano, sampled magma richer in Sr and Ba. The ascent of magma caused resorption of the previously formed plagioclase crystals and regrowth of normally or inversely zoned portions, depending on the water-saturated or water-undersaturated conditions of the surrounding magma, respectively. Small shallow magmatic reservoirs may be located under the southern part of the Marsili volcano, as testified by the resorbed sodic cores (An52–57) found in the two basalt samples from this portion.
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