The Os isotopic system is a potential tracer of a recycled crustal component in mantle or volcanic rocks because of the significant contrast between Os isotope ratios of crust and mantle. However, the potential for crustal contamination overprinting this possible signal has hampered the utility of Os isotopic ratios. We explored the use of Os isotopes in chromian spinel (Cr-spinel) as a discriminator of primitive magma Os compositions in the Izu-Bonin arc, using beach sands as composite samples of the boninite and tholeiite magmas in three different islands. Cr-spinel is an early-stage crystal that preserves its isotopic composition even during later crustal contamination of the bulk rock. We found highly unradiogenic Os isotopic compositions in Cr-spinels from boninites, suggesting that they represent primitive magmas with slight or no Os contribution from the subducting slab during the generation of boninites in the infant arc stage (48–46 Ma). Conversely, the radiogenic Os isotopic ratios in Cr-spinels from tholeiites most likely reflect the contribution from a slab-derived component, because more oxidative conditions in the subarc mantle probably allowed Os to mobilize from the subducting slab during the transitional arc stage (45–41 Ma). Although shallow-level assimilation of crustal components with radiogenic Os may overprint the original Os signature of tholeiite magma during its ascent, Cr-spinel allows us to compensate such possibilities.

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