Element Fluxes Associated with Subduction Related Magmatism

Chris Hawkesworth, J M HERGT, R M ELLAM, F MCDERMOTT

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    Destructive plate margin magmas may be subdivided into two groups on the basis of their rare earth element (REE) ratios. Most island arc suites have low Ce/Yb, and remarkably restricted isotope ratios of Sr-87/Sr-86 = 0.7033, Nd-143/Nd-144 = 0.51302, Pb-206/Pb-204 = 18.76, Pb-207/Pb-204 = 15.57, and Pb-208/Pb-204 = 38.4. However, they also have Rb/Sr (0.03), Th/U (2.2) and Ce/Yb (8.5) ratios which are significantly less than accepted estimates for the bulk continental crust. The high Ce/Yb suites have higher incompatible element contents, more restricted heavy REE, and much more variable isotope ratios. Such rocks are found in the Aeolian Islands, Grenada, Indonesia and Philippines, and their isotope and trace element features have been attributed both to contributions from subducted sediment, and/or old trace element enriched material in the mantle wedge. It is argued that for isotope and trace element models the slab component can usefully be taken to consist of subducted sediment and altered mid-ocean ridge basalts, since these may contain ca. 80% of the water in the subducted slab, and the distinctive trace element features of arc magmas are generally attributed to the movement of material in hydrous fluids. The isotope data indicate that not more than 15% of the Sr and Th in an average arc magma were derived from subducted material, and that the rest were derived from the mantle wedge. The fluxes of elements which cannot be characterized isotopically are more difficult to constrain, but for most minor and trace elements the slab derived contribution in arc magmas is too small to have a noticeable effect on the residual slab.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)393-405
    Number of pages13
    Journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Physical Sciences and Engineering
    Issue number1638
    Publication statusPublished - 15 May 1991


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