Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 687–699 | Cite as

Control of subduction rate on Tonga-Kermadec arc magmatism

  • Qing Luo (罗青)
  • Guoliang Zhang (张国良)Email author


Dehydration/melting of oceanic crusts during returning to the mantle in subduction zones are related to origin of arc lavas. The factors that influence arc magmatism include compositions of the subducting slabs, mantle wedge and subduction rates. However, distinguishing these factors remains difficult and highly debated. Subducting rate is related to the total mass of inputs and controls thermal structure, thus plays a crucial role in arc magmatism. Here we explore the relationships between geochemical variations of arc lavas and convergence rates (increasing from 46 mm/a to the south to 83 mm/a to the northward) in the Tonga-Kermadec arc system. Data of geochemistry for lava samples from nine islands of this arc system are collected and compiled to investigate the role of subduction rate in arc magmatism. Lavas from the northern Tonga arc with a faster subduction rate show broadly lower concentrations of TiO 2 and highfield-strength elements (HFSEs, e.g. Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf), and higher Ba/Th, U/Th ratios than the Kermadec Arc to the south. Some of the Kermadec lavas show the highest values of Th/Nb ratio. We suggest that the northern Tonga arc with a higher subduction rate has been influenced by a stronger role of subductionreleased fluid, which results in stronger large-ion-lithophile elements (LILEs) and relatively weaker HFSEs contribution. It is interpreted that faster subduction rate tend to create a cooler subduction zone, leading to stronger dehydration subduction slab contribution with, thus, higher LILE/HFSE ratios of arc lavas. The conclusion contributes to a better understanding of arc magmatism, and ultimately the long-term chemical differentiation of the Earth. More supplementary geochemical data along Tonga-Kermadec arc and tests in other arcs are needed.


subduction rate arc magmatism Tonga-Kermadec Arc 


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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qing Luo (罗青)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guoliang Zhang (张国良)
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Laboratory of Marine GeologyQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  4. 4.Deep-Sea Extreme Environment and Life Processes Center, Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina

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