Detailed bathymetry and magnetic anomaly inthe Central Ryukyu Arc, Japan: implications for a westward shift of the volcanic front after ~2.1 Ma

Friday, 19 December 2014
Taichi Sato, Hirokuni Oda, Osamu Ishizuka and Kohsaku Arai, Geological Survey of Japan, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
Detailed bathymetry and magnetic anomalies in the southern part of the Central Ryukyu Arc reveal recent volcanic structures in a southwestward extension of the active volcanic front of the Ryukyu Arc. A line of bathymetric highs running subparallel to this recent volcanic front was observed ~20 km to the east. A set of small, sharply defined magnetic anomalies extends southward from this line of bathymetric highs to the islands Kume-jima and Aguni-jima, suggesting the former existence of an ancient volcanic front. The ages of volcanic rocks from these islands indicate that magmatic activity along the ancient volcanic front continued until at least ~2.1 Ma. The presence of magnetic anomalies between the two volcanic fronts suggests that the volcanic front has moved gradually westward. This shift can be explained by the termination of asthenospheric upwelling and/or the rapid retreat of the Ryukyu Trench after its change in subduction direction.