IODP Expedition 351 Lithostratigraphy: Volcaniclastic Record of Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) Arc Initiation
Friday, 19 December 2014
The destruction of lithospheric plates by subduction is a fundamentally important process leading to arc magmatism and the creation of continental crust, yet subduction initiation and early magmatic arc evolution remain poorly understood. For many arc systems, onset of arc volcanism and early evolution are obscured by metamorphism or the record is deeply buried; however, initial products of arc systems may be preserved in forearc and backarc sedimentary records. IODP Expedition 351 recovered this history from the dispersed ash and pyroclast record in the proximal rear-arc of the northern IBM system west of the Kyushu-Palau Ridge. Drilling at Site U1438 in the Amami Sankaku Basin recovered a thick volcaniclastic record of subduction initiation and the early evolution of the Izu-Bonin Arc. A 160-m thick section of Neogene sediment overlies 1.3 kilometers of Paleogene volcaniclastic rocks with andesitic average composition; this volcaniclastic section was deposited on mafic volcanic basement rocks. The thin upper sediment layer is primarily terrigenous, biogenic and volcaniclastic mud and ooze with interspersed ash layers. The underlying Eocene to Oligocene volcaniclastic rocks are 33% tuffaceous mudstone, 61% tuffaceous sandstone, and 6% conglomerate with volcanic and rare sedimentary clasts commonly up to pebble and rarely to cobble size. The clastic section is characterized by repetitive conglomerate and sandstone-dominated intervals with intervening mudstone-dominated intervals, reflecting waxing and waning of coarse arc-derived sediment inputs through time. Volcanic lithic clasts in sandstones and conglomerates range from basalt to rhyolite in composition and include well-preserved pumice, reflecting a lithologically diverse and compositionally variable arc volcanic source.