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Chlorine in submarine glasses from the Lau Basin: seawater contamination and constraints on the composition of slab-derived fluids

Kent, Adam J. R., Peate, David W., Newman, Sally, Stolper, Edward M. and Pearce, Julian A. 2002. Chlorine in submarine glasses from the Lau Basin: seawater contamination and constraints on the composition of slab-derived fluids. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 202 (2) , pp. 361-377. 10.1016/S0012-821X(02)00786-0

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Measurements of chlorine concentrations in matrix glasses from 18 primitive (>6 wt% MgO) and eight evolved lavas from active spreading centers in the Lau Basin back-arc system provide insight into the processes which control chlorine concentrations in subduction-related magmas, and can be used to investigate chlorine enrichment related to fluids derived from the underlying subducted slab. Chlorine contents of the glasses are highly variable (0.008–0.835 wt%) and generally high with respect to uncontaminated mid-ocean ridge basalt. Chlorine contents are highest in fractionated lavas from propagating ridge tips and lowest in more primitive basaltic lavas. Two different styles of enrichment in chlorine (relative to other incompatible elements) are recognized. Glasses from the Central Lau Spreading and Eastern Lau Spreading Center typically have low Ba/Nb ratios indicating minimal input of slab-derived components, and high to very high ratios of chlorine relative to K2O, H2O, and TiO2. This style of chlorine enrichment is highest in the most fractionated samples and is consistent with crustal assimilation of chlorine-rich altered ocean crust material. Data from the literature suggest that contamination by chlorine-rich seawater-derived components also characterizes the Woodlark Basin and North Fiji Basin back-arc systems. The second style of chlorine enrichment reflects input from slab-derived fluid(s) to the mantle wedge from the adjacent Tonga subduction zone. Basaltic glasses from the Valu Fa Ridge and Mangatolu Triple Junction show correlations between ratios of chlorine and K2O, H2O, and TiO2 and indices of slab-derived fluid input such as Ba/Nb, Ba/Th and U/Th, consistent with chlorine in these lavas originating from a saline fluid added to the mantle wedge. Within the Valu Fa Ridge the measured range of chlorine contents equates to a chlorine flux of 224–1120 kg/m/yr to the back-arc crust. Using a simple melting model and additional data from other back-arc and arc sample suites we conclude that chlorine is a major component within the slab fluids that contribute to many arc and back-arc melting systems, and probably plays an important role in regulating trace element transport by slab fluids in the mantle wedge. For the back-arc suites we have examined the estimated Cl/H2O and Cl/K2O ratios in the slab fluid component correlate with proximity to the arc front, suggesting that progressive dehydration of the slab and/or re-equilibration and transport within the mantle wedge may influence the overall degree of chlorine enrichment within the slab fluid component. The degree of chlorine enrichment observed in most back-arc lavas also appears too great to be explained solely by melting of amphibole, phlogopite or apatite within the mantle source and suggests that chlorine must be present in another phase, possibly a chlorine-rich fluid.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Lau Basin ; Chlorine ; Subduction ; Back-arc basins ; Magma contamination
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0012-821X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 02:04

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