Abstract

Bowers Ridge is an ∼700 km long arcuate ridge behind the Central Aleutian Arc in the Bering Sea. The lack of age and geochemical data for the ridge has hampered the development of geodynamic models for the evolution of the North Pacific and the Aleutian–Bering Sea region. Here we present the first geochemical and 40Ar/39Ar age data for the volcanic basement of Bowers Ridge and a seamount from the western end of the ridge sampled during R/V Sonne cruise SO201-1b. The northern Bowers Ridge basement (26–32 Ma) consists of mafic to intermediate calc-alkaline rocks with adakite-like (Sr/Y = 33–53, LaN/YbN = 3.3–7.8), high field strength element (HFSE)–depleted (e.g., NbN/LaN = 0.07–0.31) trace element patterns and Sr-Nd-Pb isotope compositions within the Western Aleutian Arc array, implying magma generation above an obliquely subducting slab. The seamount samples (22–24 Ma) are HFSE-rich alkaline olivine basalts (LaN/YbN = 3.3–3.9, NbN/LaN = 1.0–1.4) with minor arc-type trace element signatures (PbN/CeN = 1.4–1.6, KN/NbN = 1.7–1.9) but with Pacific mid-oceanic-ridge basalt (MORB)–like isotopic compositions, pointing to an origin by small-degree decompression melting from slightly subduction-modified mantle. The geochemistry of the recovered rocks can be explained by highly oblique subduction along the northern part of Bowers Ridge in its present-day configuration, consistent with an in-situ origin of Bowers Ridge as a Cenozoic island arc.

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