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Abstract

The Molucca Sea Collision Zone in eastern Indonesia is the site of an orthogonal collision between two active subduction systems. Both the Halmahera subduction zone, to the east, and the Sangihe subduction zone, to the west, have subducted oceanic lithosphere of the Molucca Sea Plate, which has now been completely consumed. Both volcanic arcs were active since the Neogene and provide a means of probing the element fluxes through the two systems. The geochemistry of Neogene and Quaternary lavas from each volcanic arc is compared to constrain changes in the mass fluxes through the systems and the processes controlling these fluxes at different times during their history. Both arcs show increased evidence for sediment recycling as the collision progressed, but for contrasting reasons. In Halmahera this may represent an increased sediment flux through the arc front, while in Sangihe it may simply reflect a greater opportunity for melting of sediment-fluxed portions of the mantle wedge. In both cases the change in arc geochemistry can be related to the evolving architecture of the particular subduction zone. The Halmahera lavas also record a temporal change in the chemistry of the mantle component that resulted from induced convection above the falling Molucca Sea Plate drawing compositionally distinct peridotite into the mantle wege.

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