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A record of spontaneous subduction initiation in the Izu–Bonin–Mariana arc

Arculus, Richard J. and Ishizuka, Osamu and Bogus, Kara A. and Gurnis, Michael and Hickey-Vargas, Rosemary and Aljahdali, Mohammed H. and Bandini-Maeder, Alexandre N. and Barth, Andrew P. and Brandl, Philipp A. and Drab, Laureen and do Monte Guerra, Rodrigo and Hamada, Morihisa and Jiang, Fuqing and Kanayama, Kyoko and Kender, Sev and Kusano, Yuki and Li, He and Loudin, Lorne C. and Maffione, Marco and Marsaglia, Kathleen M. and McCarthy, Anders and Meffre, Sebastién and Morris, Antony and Neuhaus, Martin and Savov, Ivan P. and Sena, Clara and Tepley, Frank J., III and van der Land, Cees and Yogodzinski, Gene M. and Zhang, Zhaohui (2015) A record of spontaneous subduction initiation in the Izu–Bonin–Mariana arc. Nature Geoscience, 8 (9). pp. 728-733. ISSN 1752-0894. doi:10.1038/ngeo2515.

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The initiation of tectonic plate subduction into the mantle is poorly understood. If subduction is induced by the push of a distant mid-ocean ridge or subducted slab pull, we expect compression and uplift of the overriding plate. In contrast, spontaneous subduction initiation, driven by subsidence of dense lithosphere along faults adjacent to buoyant lithosphere, would result in extension and magmatism. The rock record of subduction initiation is typically obscured by younger deposits, so evaluating these possibilities has proved elusive. Here we analyse the geochemical characteristics of igneous basement rocks and overlying sediments, sampled from the Amami Sankaku Basin in the northwest Philippine Sea. The uppermost basement rocks are areally widespread and supplied via dykes. They are similar in composition and age—as constrained by the biostratigraphy of the overlying sediments—to the 52–48-million-year-old basalts in the adjacent Izu–Bonin–Mariana fore-arc. The geochemical characteristics of the basement lavas indicate that a component of subducted lithosphere was involved in their genesis, and the lavas were derived from mantle source rocks that were more melt-depleted than those tapped at mid-ocean ridges. We propose that the basement lavas formed during the inception of Izu–Bonin–Mariana subduction in a mode consistent with the spontaneous initiation of subduction.

Item Type:Article
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http://www.iodp.tamu.eduOrganizationInternational Ocean Drilling Program
Gurnis, Michael0000-0003-1704-597X
Additional Information:© 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 29 January 2015; accepted 17 July 2015; published online 24 August 2015. All data generated during IODP Expedition 351 will be publicly accessible from 31 July 2015 via the IODP-JOIDES Resolution Science Operator website ( This research used samples and data provided by the International Ocean Discovery Program. We thank the USIO staff and the SIEM Offshore crew for their invaluable assistance and skill during the Expedition. Funding was provided by the Australian Research Council and the ANZIC office to R.J.A. Additional funding was provided to M.H.A. by the Ministry of Education of Saudi Arabia, and to A.N.B.-M. by Fugro AG. We gratefully acknowledge the initial inspiration and ongoing advice of Brian Taylor and the drilling proposal proponents, whose efforts led to IODP Expedition 351. We thank Sherm Bloomer and Brian Taylor for their highly constructive comments and suggestions. Contributions: All co-authors were participants on IODP Expedition 351 and participated in generating the data published herein, the data analysis and interpretation, and contributed to the writing of this manuscript. Specifically: R.J.A., O.I. and K.A.B. planned and implemented the expedition; A.P.B., P.A.B., R.H.-V., F.J., K.K., Y.K., H.L., K.M.M., A.McCarthy, S.M., I.P.S., F.J.T.III and G.M.Y. generated the lithologic data; M.H.J., A.N.B.-M., R.d.M.G. and S.K. performed the biostratigraphy; M.M. and A.Morris performed the magnetostratigraphy; L.D., M.G., M.H. and M.N. calculated the thermal age of basement; and L.C.L., C.S., C.v.d.L. and Z.Z. generated the geochemical data. The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Australian Research CouncilUNSPECIFIED
Ministry of Education (Saudi Arabia)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150917-163553684
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Official Citation:A record of spontaneous subduction initiation in the Izu–Bonin–Mariana arc Richard J. Arculus, Osamu Ishizuka, Kara A. Bogus, Michael Gurnis, Rosemary Hickey-Vargas, Mohammed H. Aljahdali, Alexandre N. Bandini-Maeder, Andrew P. Barth, Philipp A. Brandl, Laureen Drab, Rodrigo do Monte Guerra, Morihisa Hamada, Fuqing Jiang, Kyoko Kanayama, Sev Kender, Yuki Kusano, He Li, Lorne C. Loudin, Marco Maffione, Kathleen M. Marsaglia, Anders McCarthy, Sebastién Meffre, Antony Morris, Martin Neuhaus, Ivan P. Savov et al. Nature Geoscience 8, 728–733 (2015) doi:10.1038/ngeo2515
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:60310
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:18 Sep 2015 14:58
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 22:32

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