Petrological evolution of the Tertiary island arc in the Izu-Mariana region has been accompanied by the development of three different volcanic suites: 1) oceanridge basalt now exposed as the metamorphic basement on Yap; 2) island-arc tholeiites of Eocene to early Oligocene age characterized by low contents of incompatible elements at all levels of silica enrichment; and 3) calc-alkalic rocks of late Oligocene to early Miocene age showing higher contents of silica and incompatible elements. All these three suites have primitive, undifferentiated basalts or andesites (boninites) characterized by high Mg/Fe, Cr, and Ni, suggesting that they have been derived from an upper mantle peridotite at relatively high temperatures. The earliest volcanism appears to have occurred at a spreading ridge. Later, as subduction proceeded, the island-arc tholeiite magma may have been produced by the introduction of a smaller amount of water into the locus of fusion from the subducted oceanic crust. An increasingly larger amount of water introduced into the same region could have led to the development of the more siliceous, calc-alkalic magma, as represented typically by the boninite.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology