Arc magmas, a major contributor to continental crust growth, are thought to be more oxidized than mid-ocean ridge basalts as reflected by an enrichment in ferric iron relative to ferrous iron. But how arc magmas become oxidized is hotly debated. It is acknowledged that the fractionation of common Fe-rich phases (e.g., amphibole) may change the Fe valence of the derivative melt. Amphibole has Fe-rich compositions commonly found in arc systems. We present high-precision (±0.01%) Fe valence data of amphibole and cumulates from the Kohistan arc determined by Mössbauer spectroscopy and bulk cumulate Fe3+/ΣFe ratios by wet chemistry. We evaluate the Fe3+/ΣFe trend of Fe-rich amphibole during arc magma fractionation. Our results show that bulk Fe3+/ΣFe ratio of cumulates in mature island arc settings is mainly controlled by amphibole due to its abundance and decreases (from 0.4 to 0.2) with decreasing Mg# as Fe3+/ΣFe ratios decrease in amphibole (from 0.35 to 0.2). Our modeling suggests that amphibole fractionation from parental arc magmas to Fe3+/ΣFe above 0.2 may lead to an increase in Fe3+/ΣFe ratios of middle–late stage residual melts by 0.1–0.3, and the partitioning of ferrous Fe into amphibole increases with the evolution of arc magmas. Our findings highlight the importance of petrological processes in the magma that contribute to the production of fertile arc crust.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.