Mafic–Ultramafic Complexes of the Stalemate Ridge, NW Pacific, and the Shirshov Rise, Bering Sea: Geochemical Similarities and Differences


This study was focused on the estimation and geodynamic interpretation of the contents and character of distribution of highly siderophile and chalcophile elements in rock samples from mafic–ultramafic assemblage sampled at the Stalemate Ridge in the NW Pacific and the Shirshov Rise in the Bering Sea. All of the samples were collected during Cruise 249 of German R/V Sonne. These mafic–ultramafic rock complexes situated at the opposite sides of Aleutian Island Arc may carry important information on the structure and composition of the old Pacific lithosphere subducted under Aleutian Arc, as well as on the products of suprasubduction magmatism in back-arc basin of the Bering Sea. The newly acquired data presented in this paper indicate that the real structure of the northwestern segment of the Stalemate Ridge is inconsistent with the currently widely assumed model that the local lithosphere corresponds to the canonic oceanic type. The lithosphere in the area includes mafic–ultramafic complexes whose origin was not related to mantle reservoirs of the oceanic type (e.g., DM). At the same time, the tectonic remobilization of the lithosphere in this part of the NW Pacific suggested in (Lonsdale, 1988) is confirmed by results of dredging at sites on the northwestern flank of the Stalemate Ridge. Vertical tectonic motions in this region combined lithospheric blocks that might have been formed in contrasting geodynamic settings. These lithospheric blocks may have included fragments of magmatic complexes formed by suprasubduction magmatism and were identical in the their isotope geochemistry (87Sr/86Sr, 143SNd/144Nd) to the mafic–ultramafic assemblage occurring in the Shirshov Rise, which lies immediately north of the northwestern Stalemate Ridge segment and likely is a relic of a backarc spreading center.

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The authors thank M.V. Portnyagin, K. Hernle, and R. Werner for close cooperation during Cruises 201 and 249 of the R/V Sonne. The authors thank A.V. Girnis and E.V. Sharkov for constructive criticism and valuable recommendations that allowed the authors to improve the manuscript.


Cruises 201 and 249 of the R/V Sonne were carried out under the KALMAR (in 2009) and BERING (in 2016) Projects, with the financial support from the Ministry of Education and Science of Germany. This study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project no. 18-05-00001a, and government-financed research project 0137-2018-0004 “Problems of the Origin and Evolution of the Oceanic and Continental Lithosphere”.

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Correspondence to S. A. Silantyev.

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Translated by E. Kurdyukov

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Silantyev, S.A., Kubrakova, I.V. & Nabiullina, S.N. Mafic–Ultramafic Complexes of the Stalemate Ridge, NW Pacific, and the Shirshov Rise, Bering Sea: Geochemical Similarities and Differences. Petrology 29, 1–13 (2021).

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  • PGE geochemistry
  • mantle magma sources
  • backarc spreading centers
  • subduction
  • Stalemate Ridge
  • Shirshov Rise