High field strength elements (HFSEs) are depleted in subduction-related melts because of the residual minerals in the slab. It has been suggested that high slab-surface temperatures cause the breakdown of residual zircon in the slab. In this study, we found that two geochemical types can be identified within basalts from the active backarc rift zone of the Izu arc (northwest Pacific Ocean). Low-Zr/Y basalts (LZBs) were collected from across the entire area of the active rift zone, whereas the high-Zr/Y basalts (HZBs) were identified only at the Sumisu Rift. Although enrichment of large-ion lithophile elements (LILEs) and Nb-Ta depletion are recognized in both types, a minimal negative Hf concentration anomaly (Hf/Hf* = 0.98) characterizes the HZB. In Nd-Hf isotope space, the HZB lies close to the Indian/Pacific mantle boundary, displaced from the LZB. Variations in Nb/Yb and Zr/Yb indicate differences in the fertility and/or degree of melting of source mantle that can explain the HFSE systematics in the LZB, but not in the HZB. Geochemical modeling demonstrates that mixtures of mantle wedge and ~2% slab-derived melt, not in equilibrium with residual zircon, produces the observed trace-element and isotopic characteristics in the HZB. Moreover, the range of occurrence of the HZB corresponds with the range in seismic low-velocity anomalies in the upper slab. We suggest that asthenospheric material injected into the mantle wedge beneath the Sumisu Rift is a possible heat source for the breakdown of residual zircon in the slab.
Breakdown of residual zircon in the Izu arc subducting slab during backarc rifting
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Yasuhiro Hirai, Takanori Yoshida, Satoshi Okamura, Yoshihiko Tamura, Izumi Sakamoto, Ryuichi Shinjo; Breakdown of residual zircon in the Izu arc subducting slab during backarc rifting. Geology doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/G39856.1
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