Alkaline basalts produced in continental arcs should contain information different from the arc tholeiite-calc-alkaline-series magmas, and their origin could provide unique constraints on deep mantle composition and material cycling. However, due to their sparse occurrence, alkaline basalts in continental arcs have not been studied thoroughly, which hinders our understanding of the mantle diversity and subduction dynamics under continental arcs. In this study, we present new 40Ar/39Ar ages, major and trace elements, and Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic data for the International Ocean Discovery Program Site U1504 alkaline basalts in the continental arc developed on the South China Block (SCB). These alkaline basalts were generated at ca. 121 Ma and display typical oceanic-island basalt geochemical characteristics. Their relatively high εNd(t) (3.5−3.7) and low (87Sr/86Sr)i (0.7034−0.7040) and La/Nb (0.5−1.0) values suggest that they were mainly derived from an asthenosphere mantle source. Compared to alkaline basalts in the SCB inland, U1504 alkaline basalts exhibit lower K2O/Na2O, Zr/Sm, Zr/Y, εNd(t), and εHf(t) values, indicating the addition of minor sub-continental lithospheric mantle. The enrichment of Nb, Ta, light rare earth elements, and slight depletion of Zr, Hf, and Ti, as well as elevated Fe/Mn and Sm/Yb and low CaO, indicate that their mantle lithology was mainly garnet pyroxenite. Based upon these findings and previous studies, the garnet pyroxenite was probably formed by the interaction of upwelling asthenosphere with slab edges in the scenario of break-off of the Paleo-Pacific Plate, and such interaction diversified the mantle chemistry beneath continental arcs. In conjunction with other reported alkaline basalt data, it is proposed that the enriched asthenosphere mantle beneath the SCB had formed sequentially from inland to coastal since the late Mesozoic, and this may be related to lateral and vertical flow in the deep asthenosphere controlled by the break-off of subducted plates.

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