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|Large scale rhyolitic volcanism is an important process at some convergent plate margins because it leads to chemical differentiation of the upper.-crust and is responsible for the production of long lived near surface thermal anomalies; the Taupo Volcanic Zone is.a Quaternary example. The main features of the magmatic systems-of the zone. are the existence of large high level chambers containing homogeneous silicic magma which erupt at intervals of thousands to tens of thousands of years. Geochemical work on the deposits resulting from these eruptions has shown that with few exceptions the magmas have been remarkably uniform in their . composition throughout the history of the zone although individual batches with lifespans of the order of. one hundred thousand years can be recognised by subtle differences in trace element ratios. Basalt is a rare proportion of the rocks exposed at the surface but has played a major role as a medium for heat transfer and as an end member in chemical mixing processes.|