Iron Stable Isotopes, Magmatic Differentiation and the Oxidation State of Mariana Arc Magmas

Friday, 19 December 2014
Helen M. Williams, University of Durham, Durham, DH1, United Kingdom, Julie Prytulak, Imperial College London, London, SW7, United Kingdom, Terry A Plank, Lamont Doherty Earth Obs., Palisades, NY, United States and Katherine A Kelley, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, United States
Arc magmas are widely considered to be oxidized, with elevated ferric iron contents (Fe3+/ΣFe) relative to mid-ocean ridge lavas (1, 2). However, it is unclear whether the oxidized nature of arc basalts is a primary feature, inherited from the sub-arc mantle, or the product of magmatic differentiation and/or post eruptive alteration processes (3).

Iron stable isotopes can be used to trace the distribution of Fe during melting and magmatic differentiation processes (4, 5). Here we present Fe isotope data for well-characterized samples (6-8) from islands of the Central Volcanic Zone (CVZ) of the intra-oceanic Mariana Arc to explore the effect of magmatic differentiation processes on Fe isotope systematics.

The overall variation in the Fe isotope compositions (δ57Fe) of samples from the CVZ islands ranges from -0.10 ±0.04 to 0.29 ± 0.01 ‰. Lavas from Anatahan are displaced to lower overall δ57Fe values (range -0.10 ±0.04 to 0.18 ±0.01 ‰) relative to other CVZ samples. Fe isotopes in the Anatahan suite (range -0.10 ±0.04 to 0.18 ±0.01 ‰) are positively correlated with SiO2 and negatively correlated with Ca, Fe2O3(t), Cr and V and are displaced to lower overall δ57Fe values relative to other CVZ samples. These correlations can be interpreted in terms of clinopyroxene and magnetite fractionation, with magnetite saturation throughout the differentiation sequence. Magnetite saturation is further supported by negative correlations between V, Fe2O3(t), Cr and MgO (for MgO <3.5 wt%). The early saturation of magnetite in the Anatahan and CVZ lavas is likely to be a function of high melt water content (9, 10) and potentially elevated melt oxidation state. Future work will focus on determining the relationships between mineral Fe isotope partitioning effects and melt composition and oxidation state.

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9. K. A. Kelley et al., J. Pet. (2010).

10. T. Sisson et al., CMP (1993).