Geochemical evolution of a shallow magma plumbing system during the last 500 years, Miyakejima volcano, Japan: Constraints from 238U-230Th-226Ra systematics

Tetsuya Yokoyama, Takeshi Kuritani, Katsura Kobayashi, Eizo Nakamura

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    29 Citations (Scopus)


    In order to unravel magma processes and the geochemical evolution of shallow plumbing systems beneath active volcanoes, we investigated U-series disequilibria of rocks erupted over the past 500 years (1469-2000 AD) from Miyakejima volcano, Izu arc, Japan. Miyakejima volcanic rocks show 238U-230Th-226Ra disequilibria with excess 238U and 226Ra, due to the addition of slab-derived fluids to the mantle wedge. Basaltic bombs of the 2000 AD eruption have the lowest (230Th/232Th) ratio compared to older Miyakejima eruptives, yielding the youngest 238U-230Th model age of 2 kyr. This reinforces our previous model that fluid release from the slab and subsequent magma generation in the mantle wedge beneath Miyakejima occur episodically on a several-kyr timescale. In the last 500 years, Miyakejima eruptives show: (1) a vertical trend in a (230Th/232Th)-(238U/232Th) diagram and (2) a positive linear correlation in a (226Ra/230Th)0 - 1/230Th diagram, which is also observed in lavas from some of the single eruptions (e.g., 1940, 1962, and 1983 AD). The variations cannot be produced by simple fractional crystallization in a magma chamber with radioactive decay of 230Th and 226Ra, but it is possibly produced by synchronous generation of melts in the mantle wedge with different upwelling rate or addition of multiple slab-derived fluids. A much more favorable scenario is that some basaltic magmas were intermittently supplied from deep in the mantle and injected into the crust, subsequently modifying the original magma composition and producing variations in (230Th/232Th) and (226Ra/230Th)0 ratios via assimilation and fractional crystallization (AFC). The assimilant of the AFC process would be a volcanic edifice of previous Miyakejima magmatism. Due to the relatively short timescales involved, the interaction between the assimilant and recent Miyakejima magmatism has not been recorded by the Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic systems. In such cases, Th isotopes and (226Ra/230Th) ratio are excellent geochemical tracers of magmatic evolution.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2885-2901
    Number of pages17
    JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2006

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geochemistry and Petrology


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