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Variable water input controls evolution of the Lesser Antilles volcanic arc

Variable water input controls evolution of the Lesser Antilles volcanic arc
Variable water input controls evolution of the Lesser Antilles volcanic arc

Oceanic lithosphere carries volatiles, notably water, into the mantle through subduction at convergent plate boundaries. This subducted water exercises control on the production of magma, earthquakes, formation of continental crust and mineral resources. Identifying different potential fluid sources (sediments, crust and mantle lithosphere) and tracing fluids from their release to the surface has proved challenging 1. Atlantic subduction zones are a valuable endmember when studying this deep water cycle because hydration in Atlantic lithosphere, produced by slow spreading, is expected to be highly non-uniform 2. Here, as part of a multi-disciplinary project in the Lesser Antilles volcanic arc 3, we studied boron trace element and isotopic fingerprints of melt inclusions. These reveal that serpentine—that is, hydrated mantle rather than crust or sediments—is a dominant supplier of subducted water to the central arc. This serpentine is most likely to reside in a set of major fracture zones subducted beneath the central arc over approximately the past ten million years. The current dehydration of these fracture zones coincides with the current locations of the highest rates of earthquakes and prominent low shear velocities, whereas the preceding history of dehydration is consistent with the locations of higher volcanic productivity and thicker arc crust. These combined geochemical and geophysical data indicate that the structure and hydration of the subducted plate are directly connected to the evolution of the arc and its associated seismic and volcanic hazards.

0028-0836
525-529
Cooper, George F.
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Macpherson, Colin G.
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Blundy, Jon D.
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Maunder, Benjamin
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Allen, Robert W.
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Goes, Saskia
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Collier, Jenny S
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Bie, Lidong
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Harmon, Nicholas
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Hicks, Stephen P.
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Iveson, Alexander A.
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Prytulak, Julie
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Rietbrock, Andreas
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Rychert, Catherine A.
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Davidson, Jon P.
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VoiLA Team
Cooper, George F.
5376f02b-ddc5-4217-842a-cbb51f82a8c6
Macpherson, Colin G.
097a92cc-8164-494f-ba31-5ce3270ae8fb
Blundy, Jon D.
bca7f23f-7221-4beb-afd1-daadfec4066c
Maunder, Benjamin
5e0a81b5-3b82-4183-8d08-682f6d18b96e
Allen, Robert W.
956a918f-278c-48ef-8e19-65aa463f199a
Goes, Saskia
8da1004a-3f5b-44c9-9889-046c5b6c537e
Collier, Jenny S
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Bie, Lidong
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Harmon, Nicholas
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Hicks, Stephen P.
036d1b3b-bb7a-4a22-b2ce-71618a1723a3
Iveson, Alexander A.
791ba4b2-eb55-477b-a6be-993aaeeff523
Prytulak, Julie
acc25269-e2d2-4724-a319-9eda76e7551e
Rietbrock, Andreas
e4656f22-06be-40fe-8f98-7f88c351c434
Rychert, Catherine A.
70cf1e3a-58ea-455a-918a-1d570c5e53c5
Davidson, Jon P.
fd5d5cb2-52cc-4327-9a34-1aa629d77a71

Cooper, George F., Macpherson, Colin G., Blundy, Jon D., Maunder, Benjamin, Allen, Robert W., Goes, Saskia, Collier, Jenny S, Bie, Lidong, Harmon, Nicholas, Hicks, Stephen P., Iveson, Alexander A., Prytulak, Julie, Rietbrock, Andreas, Rychert, Catherine A. and Davidson, Jon P. , VoiLA Team (2020) Variable water input controls evolution of the Lesser Antilles volcanic arc. Nature, 582 (7813), 525-529. (doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2407-5).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Oceanic lithosphere carries volatiles, notably water, into the mantle through subduction at convergent plate boundaries. This subducted water exercises control on the production of magma, earthquakes, formation of continental crust and mineral resources. Identifying different potential fluid sources (sediments, crust and mantle lithosphere) and tracing fluids from their release to the surface has proved challenging 1. Atlantic subduction zones are a valuable endmember when studying this deep water cycle because hydration in Atlantic lithosphere, produced by slow spreading, is expected to be highly non-uniform 2. Here, as part of a multi-disciplinary project in the Lesser Antilles volcanic arc 3, we studied boron trace element and isotopic fingerprints of melt inclusions. These reveal that serpentine—that is, hydrated mantle rather than crust or sediments—is a dominant supplier of subducted water to the central arc. This serpentine is most likely to reside in a set of major fracture zones subducted beneath the central arc over approximately the past ten million years. The current dehydration of these fracture zones coincides with the current locations of the highest rates of earthquakes and prominent low shear velocities, whereas the preceding history of dehydration is consistent with the locations of higher volcanic productivity and thicker arc crust. These combined geochemical and geophysical data indicate that the structure and hydration of the subducted plate are directly connected to the evolution of the arc and its associated seismic and volcanic hazards.

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Accepted/In Press date: 26 March 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 24 June 2020
Published date: 25 June 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 442943
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/442943
ISSN: 0028-0836
PURE UUID: 44dfda5a-968f-454e-a4a3-4d31311d7241
ORCID for Nicholas Harmon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0731-768X
ORCID for Stephen P. Hicks: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7476-3284

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Date deposited: 04 Aug 2020 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 05:38

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Contributors

Author: George F. Cooper
Author: Colin G. Macpherson
Author: Jon D. Blundy
Author: Benjamin Maunder
Author: Robert W. Allen
Author: Saskia Goes
Author: Jenny S Collier
Author: Lidong Bie
Author: Nicholas Harmon ORCID iD
Author: Stephen P. Hicks ORCID iD
Author: Alexander A. Iveson
Author: Julie Prytulak
Author: Andreas Rietbrock
Author: Jon P. Davidson
Corporate Author: VoiLA Team

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