Crustal Accretion at Subduction Initiation Along Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc and the Link to SSZ Ophiolites
Abstract:The Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) forearc preserves the earliest arc magmatic history from subduction initiation to the establishment of the arc. Recent investigations have established a bottom to top igneous stratigraphy of: 1) mantle peridotite, 2) gabbroic rocks, 3) a sheeted dyke complex, 4) basaltic pillow lavas (forearc basalts: FAB), 5) boninites and magnesian andesites, 6) tholeiites and calcalkaline arc lavas. This stratigraphy has many similarities to supra-subduction zone (SSZ) ophiolites.
One of the most important common characteristics between the SSZ ophiolites and the forearc crust is the occurrence of MORB-like basaltic lavas underlying or accompanying boninites and early arc volcanic suites. A key observation from the IBM forearc is that FAB differs from nearby back-arc lavas in chemical characteristics, including a depletion in moderately incompatible elements. This indicates that FAB is not a pre-existing oceanic basement of the arc, but the first magmatic product after subduction initiation. Sheeted dikes of FAB composition imply that this magmatism was associated with seafloor spreading, possibly triggered by onset of slab sinking. Recognition of lavas with transitional geochemical characteristics between the FAB and the boninites strongly implies genetic linkage between these two magma types.
The close similarity of the igneous stratigraphy of SSZ ophiolites to the IBM forearc section strongly implies a common magmatic evolutionary path, i.e., decompressional melting of a depleted MORB-type mantle is followed by melting of an even more depleted mantle with the addition of slab-derived fluid/melt to produce boninite magma.
Similarity of magmatic process between IBM forearc and Tethyan ophiolites appears to be reflected on common characteristics of upper mantle section. Peridotite from both sections show more depleted characteristics compared to upper mantle rocks from mid-ocean ridges.
Age determinations reveal that first magmatism at the IBM arc occurred at c. 52 Ma, and transition from forearc basalt to normal arc magmatism took 7-8 million years. Combined with the age information from SSZ-ophiolites, significant constraints on time scale of subduction initiation and associated crustal accretion might be obtained.