The Tonga-Kermadec-New Zealand volcanic arc is an end-member of arc systems with fast subduction suggesting that the Tonga sector should have the coolest modern slab thermal structure on Earth. New data for boron concentration and isotopic composition are used to evaluate the contrasting roles of postulated subduction components (sediments and oceanic slab lithologies) in magma genesis. Major observations include: (a) Tonga-Kermadec volcanic front lavas are enriched in B (as recorded by B/Nb and similar ratios) and most have relatively high δ11B (>+4‰), whereas basaltic lavas from New Zealand have relatively low B/Nb and δ11B (<−3.5‰); (b) both δ11B and B/Nb generally increase northward from New Zealand along with convergence rate and overall slab flux; (c) δ11B and B/Nb decrease toward the back-arc, as observed elsewhere; and (d) low δ11B is observed in volcanic front samples from Ata, an anomalous sector where the back-arc Valu Fa Spreading Center impinges on the arc and the Louisville Seamount Chain is presently subducting. Otherwise, volcanic front lavas exhibit positive correlations for both B/Nb and δ11B with other plausible indicators of slab-derived fluid contributions (e.g., Ba/Nb, U/Th, (230Th/232Th) and 10Be/9Be), and with estimated degree of melting to produce the mafic lavas. Inferred B-enrichments in the arc magma sources are likely dominated by serpentinite domains deeper within the subducting slab (±altered oceanic crust), and B systematics are consistent with dominant transport by slab-derived aqueous fluids. Effects of this process are amplified by mantle wedge source depletion due to prior melt extraction.
Plain Language Summary
Boron isotope and other geochemical data are used to evaluate contributions from subducted materials to magma sources for volcanoes of the Tonga‐Kermadec‐New Zealand volcanic arc. The data are used to estimate the composition of modified mantle sources for the arc magmas as well as the extent of melting to produce them. It is shown that the mantle was previously depleted in melt components, and then overprinted by B and other components from the subducting slab, predominantly by aqueous fluids produced by dehydration of the slab. Some elements (e.g., Th, Be, La) considered to be relatively immobile in aqueous fluids, show strong correlation with B‐enrichment, suggesting that they too can be mobilized in this manner. This result is important for understanding the origin of arc magmas from other localities. In addition our data imply that slab inputs to arc magma sources are cumulative over time.
Bibliographical noteCopyright AGU 2017. Originally published as Leeman, W. P., S. Tonarini, and S. Turner (2017), Boron isotope variations in Tonga-Kermadec-New Zealand arc lavas: Implications for the origin of subduction components and mantle influences, Geochem, Geophys,
Geosyst, 18, 1126–1162, doi:10.1002/2016GC006523. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.