Peridotites from the Izu-Bonin-Mariana Forearc (ODP Leg 125): Evidence for mantle melting and melt-mantle interaction in a supra-subduction zone setting

Parkinson, Ian and Pearce, JA (1998). Peridotites from the Izu-Bonin-Mariana Forearc (ODP Leg 125): Evidence for mantle melting and melt-mantle interaction in a supra-subduction zone setting. Journal of Petrology, 39 pp. 1577–1618.



Ocean Drilling Program Leg 125 recovered serpentinized harzburgites and dunites from a total of five sites on the crests and flanks of two serpentinite seamounts, Conical Seamount in the Mariana forearc and Torishima Forearc Seamount in the Izu–Bonin forearc. These are some of the first extant forearc peridotites reported in the literature and they provide a window into oceanic, supra-subduction zone (SSZ) mantle processes. Harzburgites from both seamounts are very refractory with low modal clinopyroxene (<4%), chrome-rich spinels (cr-number = 0.40–0.80), very low incompatible element contents, and (with the exception of amphibole-bearing samples) U-shaped rare earth element (REE) profiles with positive Eu anomalies. Both sets of peridotites have olivine–spinel equilibration temperatures that are low compared with abyssal peridotites, possibly because of water-assisted diffusional equilibration in the SSZ environment. However, other features indicate that the harzburgites from the two seamounts have very different origins. Harzburgites from Conical Seamount are characterized by calculated oxygen fugacities between FMQ (fayalite–magnetite–quartz) – 1.1 (log units) and FMQ + 0.4 which overlap those of mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) peridotites. Dunites from Conical Seamount contain small amounts of clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene and amphibole and are light REE (LREE) enriched. Moreover, they are considerably more oxidized than the harzburgites to which they are spatially related, with calculated oxygen fugacities of FMQ – 0.2 to FMQ + 1.2. Using textural and geochemical evidence, we interpret these harzburgites as residual MORB mantle (from 15 to 20% fractional melting) which has subsequently been modified by interaction with boninitic melt within the mantle wedge, and these dunites as zones of focusing of this melt in which pyroxene has preferentially been dissolved from the harzburgite protolith. In contrast, harzburgites from Torishima Forearc Seamount give calculated oxygen fugacities between FMQ + 0.8 and FMQ + 1.6, similar to those calculated for other subduction-zone related peridotites and similar to those calculated for the dunites (FMQ + 1.2 to FMQ + 1.8) from the same seamount. In this case, we interpret both the harzburgites and dunites as linked to mantle melting (20–25% fractional melting) in a supra-subduction zone environment. The results thus indicate that the forearc is underlain by at least two types of mantle lithosphere, one being trapped or accreted oceanic lithosphere, the other being lithosphere formed by subduction-related melting. They also demonstrate that both types of mantle lithosphere may have undergone extensive interaction with subduction-derived magmas.

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