Marginal parts of a plate and subducting slab can play important roles in geodynamics. This is because in areas where a plate interacts with other plates or with the mantle thermal, geochemical, and mechanical interactions are expected. The Philippine Sea (PHS) slab that subducts beneath the Japan arcs has such an edge. To examine the relationship between arc magmatism and the slab edge in the transition zone from Northeast Japan to Central Japan, we investigated isotopic systematics of the regional volcanic rocks, incorporating data from literature and new data for five isotopic ratios of Sr, Nd, and Pb. The new data included major element compositions of 22 samples from the back-arc area, and 5 isotopic ratios for 6 samples selected from Pleistocene to early Quaternary epochs. Consequently, several findings were determined based on the spatial variation of the isotopic ratios and the estimated amount of slab-derived fluid: (1) the amount of fluid derived from the two subducting slabs (i.e., the Pacific slab and the PHS slab) decreases northward from a significantly high value (~5wt% fluid added to the source mantle), away from the seismically determined edge of the PHS slab; (2) the proportion of the PHS component in the total slab-derived fluid also decays northward; and (3) the PHS component spreads to the north beyond the seismically determined edge of the PHS slab. These observations strongly suggest that the existence of an aseismic PHS slab beneath southernmost parts of Northeast Japan delivers the PHS component to the arc magmatism. As was indicated by previous geodynamical studies, subduction of the PHS and PAC slabs may generate suction force towards the corner of mantle wedge, which might account for the large amount of fluid near the seismically determined slab edge as described in (1) above.
Tectonophysics – Elsevier
Published: Jan 16, 2018
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