Journal article

The importance of mantle wedge heterogeneity to subduction zone magmatism and the origin of EM1

The composition of the convecting asthenospheric mantle that feeds the mantle wedge can be investigated via rear-arc lavas that have minimal slab influence. This "ambient mantle wedge" composition (the composition of the wedge prior to the addition of a slab component) varies substantially both worldwide and within individual arcs. Nd-143/Nd-144 measurements of rear-arc samples that have minimal slab influence are similar to Nd-143/Nd-144 in the stratovolcanoes of the adjacent volcanic fronts, suggesting that Nd-143/Nd-144 of arc-front volcanics are largely inherited from the ambient mantle composition. Nd-143/Nd-144 correlates with ratios such as Th/U, Zr/Nb, and La/Sm, indicating that these ratios also are strongly influenced by ambient wedge heterogeneity. The same phenomenon is observed among individual volcanoes from the Chilean Southern Volcanic Zone (SVZ), where along-strike variability of the volcanic front tracks that of rear-arc monogenetic volcanics. Depleted mantle wedges are more strongly influenced by slab-derived components than are enriched wedges. This leads to surprising trace element correlations in the global dataset, such as between Pb/Nb and Zr/Nb, which are not explicable by variable compositions or fluxes of slab components. Depleted ambient mantle is present beneath arcs with back-arc spreading; relatively enriched mantle is present adjacent to continents. Ambient mantle wedge heterogeneity both globally and regionally forms isotope mixing trajectories for Sr, Nd and Hf between depleted mantle and EM1-type enriched compositions as represented by Gough Island basalts. Making use of this relationship permits a quantitative match with the SVZ data. It has been suggested that EM1-type mantle reservoirs are the result of recycled lower continental crust, though such models do not account for certain trace element ratios such as Ce/Pb and Nb/U or the surprisingly homogeneous trace element compositions of EM1 volcanics. A model in which the EM1 end-member found in continental arcs is produced by low-degree melt-metasomatism of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle may be more plausible. The Nd-143/Nd-144 maximum along the SVZ may be a consequence of either rifting and collision of two ancient lithospheric domains or a slab tear. The correspondence of mantle wedge variations with EM1 suggests a potential role for metasomatized sub-continental lithosphere in creating EM1 sources globally. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


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