Arc magmas sourced from mélange diapirs in subduction zones

Horst R Marschall, John C Schumacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

235 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

At subduction zones, crustal material enters the mantle. Some of this material, however, is returned to the overriding plate through volcanic and plutonic activity. Magmas erupted above subduction zones show a characteristic range of compositions that reflect mixing in the magma source region between three components: hydrous fluids derived from the subducted oceanic crust, components of the thin veneer of subducted sediments and peridotite mantle rocks. The mechanism for mixing and transport of these components has been enigmatic. A combination of results from the fields of petrology, numerical modelling, geophysics and geochemistry suggests a two-step process. First, intensely mixed metamorphic rock formations-melanges-form along the interface between the subducted slab and the mantle. As the melange contains the characteristic three-component geochemical pattern of subduction-zone magmas, we suggest that melange formation provides the physical mixing process. Then, blobs of low-density melange material-diapirs-rise buoyantly from the surface of the subducting slab and transport the well-mixed melange material into the mantle beneath the volcanoes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862-867
Number of pages6
JournalNature Geoscience
Volume5
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • SLAB-MANTLE INTERFACE
  • LOW-VELOCITY LAYER
  • THERMAL STRUCTURE
  • BASALT MAGMAS
  • HIGH-PRESSURE
  • HYBRID ROCKS
  • WEDGE PLUMES
  • SEDIMENT
  • SYSTEMATICS
  • GENERATION

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