Although high-Mg andesites (HMA) have attracted increasing attention due to their unique geochemical composition and important geological significance, there is no consensus on their petrogenesis. The present study indicates that the subducting terrigenous sediment-derived hydrous melts were incorporated into the mantle source of Paleozoic HMA in northwestern Tianshan, western China. These HMA are composed of basaltic andesite and andesite. They generally exhibit arc-type trace element distribution patterns and weakly enriched Sr-Nd-Hf isotope compositions. Some of them show remarkably higher Ba/La, Ba/Th, Rb/Nb, and U/Th ratios than normal mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB). Furthermore, most of them are characterized by higher Th/Nb, Th/Yb, and Th/Nd ratios but lower Nb/U ratios relative to normal MORB, similar to those of terrigenous sediments. Whole-rock Nd isotopes covary with Rb/Nb and Th/Yb ratios, indicating contributions from both oceanic crust-derived aqueous solutions and terrigenous sediment-derived hydrous melts. Together with their high zircon δ18O values, it appears that the mantle source of the target HMA contains terrigenous sediment-derived hydrous melts in addition to subducting oceanic crust-derived aqueous solutions. In the studied HMA, the andesite generally exhibits higher contents of large-ion lithophile elements and light rare earth elements and more enrichments in Sr-Nd-Hf isotopes than the basaltic andesite. These differences indicate that the mantle source of andesite would contain more subducting sediment-derived hydrous melts than that of basaltic andesite. As a consequence, relatively Si-rich and Si-poor pyroxenite sources were respectively generated as the mantle sources of the andesite and basaltic andesite. This qualitative interpretation is verified by quantitative modeling of the geochemical transfer from subducting oceanic crust into the mantle wedge. Model calculations indicate that the addition of ∼3% oceanic crust-derived aqueous solutions and 4%−12% terrigenous sediment-derived hydrous melts into the mantle wedge peridotite can account for the geochemical compositions of the target HMA. Therefore, the HMA in northwestern Tianshan provide the geochemical evidence for the crust-mantle interaction during the oceanic subduction in the Paleozoic. As such, the subducting terrigenous sediment-derived hydrous melts play a dominant role in the composition of the lithochemically fertile, geochemically enriched mantle sources and thus in the origin of HMA above oceanic subduction zones.
Geochemical evidence for incorporation of subducting sediment-derived melts into the mantle source of Paleozoic high-Mg andesites from northwestern Tianshan in western China
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Li-Tao Ma, Li-Qun Dai, Yong-Fei Zheng, Zi-Fu Zhao, Wei Fang, Kai Zhao; Geochemical evidence for incorporation of subducting sediment-derived melts into the mantle source of Paleozoic high-Mg andesites from northwestern Tianshan in western China. GSA Bulletin 2022; doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/B36341.1
Download citation file: