Abstract

Thermal evolution models of young subducting oceanic plates under Archean conditions suggest that tholeiitic basalts in the subducting wet crust melted at shallow depths (50 to 80 km) and produced Archean tonalites. The latent heat of fusion consumed by the crust kept the overlying peridotitic mantle wedge below the melting temperature of peridotite. This prevented both fusion in the wedge and production of cale-alkaline island-are volcanic rocks similar to those observed in modern subduction zones.

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