A Geochemical Transect Across the Lau and North Fiji Basins: New Evidence for the Distribution of Multiple Mantle Plume Components
Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 3:10 PM
The Lau and North Fiji backarc basins are located in a tectonically complex region of the South Pacific, where the upper mantle may have been modified by up to five hotspots (Samoa, Rurutu, Rarotonga, Macdonald, and Louisville), each with distinct geochemical fingerprints. We present new Hf, Nd, Sr, and Pb isotopic data for basaltic samples dredged from seven areas along an east-west transect spanning the Lau and North Fiji basins to determine the possible influence and distribution of these various hotspot sources. We find that the isotope ratios of nearly all samples can be explained by mixing a depleted mantle component, which is ubiquitous in the Lau Basin, with a component similar to that found in Samoan shield (EMII) and/or rejuvenated (EMI) lavas. Lavas as far southwest as the Fiji Triple Junction (North Fiji Basin) show enriched geochemical signatures (87Sr/86Sr and 206Pb/204Pb up to 0.7037 and 18.635 respectively, and 143Nd/144Nd and 176Hf/177Hf down to 0.51285 and 0.283023, respectively) trending toward Samoa. This observation extends the range of Samoan influence into the North Fiji Basin 400 km south of its previous observed extent at South Pandora Ridge. The few samples that cannot be explained solely by incorporation of Samoan material are from the northeastern Lau Basin (Falloon et al., 2007) and host a dilute HIMU component that may relate to the incorporation of material from the Rurutu hotspot. This component is not observed further to the west in the Lau and North Fiji basins. A ubiquitous EMI signature in the region may be linked to the Rarotonga hotspot. New dredges from the northeast Lau Basin may give clearer signals that will reveal the identity of the enriched plume component.