Many groups or chains of seamounts border, or are associated with, oceanic plateaus but their origin and relationship with plateau volcanism are debated. An example is Ojin Rise Seamounts, a group of ~80 seamounts located northeast of the 147–134 Ma Shatsky Rise, an oceanic plateau that was formed along the trace of a triple junction in the northwest Pacific Ocean. A notable topographic feature of Ojin Rise Seamounts is that they are distributed in such a way that they appear to be connected to another oceanic plateau in the east, the ~100 Ma Hess Rise. Many seamounts are arranged in a NW–SE direction (almost in the same absolute plate motion direction) and some are organized into seamount chains consisting of several volcanic cones connected by a common platform, reflecting a complex volcanic history. Here we report petrography as well as major and trace element, Sr, Nd, Pb, and Hf isotope, and 40Ar-39Ar age data for basalts dredged from five seamounts in the western part of Ojin Rise Seamounts. We found that the 40Ar-39Ar ages of the cones (123.7–120.7 Ma) are distinctly younger than the magnetic lineation age (M9-M7; 134–132 Ma) around the chain. The younger age suggests either a protracted development for the seamount chain, previously proposed to have formed near-ridge, or age difference between the platform and cones. The morphological and age differences are supported by petrography and geochemistry: platform basalts are aphyric, whereas cone basalts are slightly to highly plagioclase-phyric (up to 48 vol%); platform basalts are depleted in trace element and isotope composition, but cone basalts are enriched with high Nb/Ti and 87Sr/86Sr, and low 143Nd/144Nd and 176Hf/177Hf ratios. The depleted signature of the platform basalts is similar to that of the abundant normal type basalts of Shatsky Rise with an isotope composition that overlaps with that of normal mid-ocean ridge basalts (N-MORB), whereas trace elements are enriched (e.g., higher Nb/Zr and Nb/Ti than N-MORB). However, slight geochemical differences between the Ojin platform basalts and Shatsky normal type basalts exist and are expressed in higher 208Pb/204Pb isotope ratios of the former. The depleted signature implies shallow mantle dilution of the (enriched) Shatsky plume tail near a ridge. In contrast, the enriched signature of the cone basalts indicates little contribution from N-MORB source mantle as (enriched) plume volcanism moved away from the ridge. The enriched features (Nb/Zr and 176Hf/177Hf) of the Ojin Rise cone basalts increase with increasing distance from Shatsky Rise and conform with a geochemical evolution model that involves increasing contribution from a highly enriched Hess Rise source component with time.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology