Plume–subduction interaction in southern Central America: Mantle upwelling and slab melting
Esteban Gazel Dondi; Kaj Hoernle; Michael J. Carr; Claude Herzberg; Ian Saginor; Paul van den Bogaard; Folkmar Hauff; Carl Swisher; Mark Feigenson
- Plume–subduction interaction in southern Central America: Mantle upwelling and slab melting
Gazel Dondi, Esteban
Carr, Michael J.
Bogaard, Paul van den
- Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
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- The volcanic front in southern Central America is well known for its Galapagos OIB-like geochemical signature. A comprehensive set of geochemical, isotopic and geochronological data collected on volumetrically minor alkaline basalts and adakites were used to better constrain the mantle and subduction magma components and to test the different models that explain this OIB signature in an arc setting. We report a migration of back-arc alkaline volcanism towards the northwest, consistent with arc-parallel mantle flow models, and a migration towards the southeast in the adakites possibly tracking the eastward movement of the triple junction where the Panama Fracture Zone intersects the Middle America Trench. The adakites major and trace element compositions are consistent with magmas produced by melting a mantle-wedge source metasomatized by slab derived melts. The alkaline magmas are restricted to areas that have no seismic evidence of a subducting slab. The geochemical signature of the alkaline magmas is mostly controlled by upwelling asthenosphere with minor contributions from subduction components. Mantle potential temperatures calculated from the alkaline basalt primary magmas increased from close to ambient mantle (~ 1380–1410 °C) in the Pliocene to ~ 1450 °C in the younger units. The calculated initial melting pressures for these primary magmas are in the garnet stability field (3.0–2.7 GPa). The average final melting pressures range between 2.7 and 2.5 GPa, which is interpreted as the lithosphere–asthenosphere boundary at ~ 85–90 km. We provide a geotectonic model that integrates the diverse observations presented here. The slab detached after the collision of the Galapagos tracks with the arc (~ 10–8 Ma). The detachment allowed hotter asthenosphere to flow into the mantle wedge. This influx of hotter asthenosphere explains the increase in mantle potential temperatures, the northwest migration in the back-arc alkaline lavas that tracks the passage of the hotter asthenosphere, and the presence of a slab melting signature in the volcanic front caused by recycling of Galapagos Hotspot tracks.
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