The chemical composition of intraplate seamounts is distinct from normal seafloor material, meaning that the subduction of seamounts at a convergent margin can cause a change in the chemistry of the mantle wedge and associated arc magmas. Nishinoshima, a volcanic island in the Izu-Bonin Arc of Japan, has been erupting continuously over the past 2 years, providing an ideal opportunity to examine the effect of seamount subduction on the chemistry of arc magmas. Our research is based on the whole-rock geochemistry and the chemistry of minerals within lavas and air-fall scoria from Nishinoshima that were erupted before 1702, in 1973-1974, and in 2014. The mineral phases within the analyzed samples crystallized under hydrous conditions (H2O = 3-4 wt.%) at temperatures of 970 °C-990 °C in a shallow (3-6 km depth) magma chamber. Trace element data indicate that the recently erupted Nishinoshima volcanics are much less depleted in the high field strength elements (Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf) than other volcanics within the Izu-Bonin Arc. In addition, the level of enrichment in the Nishinoshima magmas has increased in recent years, probably due to the addition of material from HIMU-enriched (i.e., high Nb/Zr and Ta/Hf) seamounts on the Pacific Plate, which is being subducted westwards beneath the Philippine Sea Plate. This suggests that the chemistry of scoria from Nishinoshima volcano records the progressive addition of components derived from subducted seamounts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology