Felsic magmas produced at subduction zones have played an important role in the generation and evolution of the continental crust. For the origin of felsic magmas, processes such as fractional crystallization of mafic magmas, partial melting of crustal materials, partial melting of subducting slabs, and partial melting of pyroxenitic mantle wedge components have been proposed. Recent experimental studies have predicted that felsic melt can also be produced in the mantle wedge by the separation of slab-derived supercritical liquid beyond depths corresponding to the critical point. To date, however, the presence of felsic magma of this origin has not yet been reported. In this study, we investigated dacitic lavas and preceding calc-alkaline andesite lavas from the Rishiri Volcano, located at the rear of the Kuril arc. We show that hydrous felsic melt and aqueous fluid were separated from slab-derived supercritical liquid in the mantle wedge. The former erupted as dacitic magma whilst the aqueous fluid induced the generation of primary basaltic magma involved in creating calc-alkaline andesite magma. We infer that slab-derived supercritical liquid is an efficient transport medium for moving silicate-rich components from subducting slabs to the Earth’s surface, and that this process may have contributed to the growth of the continental crust.
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