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Petrology and Geochemistry of Submarine Lavas from the Lau and North Fiji Back-Arc Basins

  • John M. Sinton
  • Richard C. Price
  • Kevin T. M. Johnson
  • Hubert Staudigel
  • Alan Zindler
Part of the Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources Earth Science Series book series (CIRCUM-PACIFIC, volume 15)

Abstract

Basaltic lavas in seven new dredges from the Lau and North Fiji basins comprise eight distinct chemical groups, representing three magma types. Type I lavas from three sites including one dredge of abyssal ferrobasalt are low-Kmid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) similar to those of mid-ocean spreading centers, but with slightly higher 87Sr/86Sr = 0.7034. Lavas from two sites are slightly enriched in K, Rb, Zr, Ba, and possibly water, relative to normal MORB; these Type II lavas evolved from primary magmas formed by very high degrees of melting and have many similarities to lavas from the Mariana Trough back-arc basin. Type II lavas appear to be older than Type I, suggesting that the Lau and North Fiji basins evolved from initial eruption of a back-arc basin basalt (BABB) magma type, followed by later production of MORB magmas. Two sites on the South Pandora Ridge yielded alkali- and other incompatible-element enriched “transitional” basalts (Type III). The extremely fresh appearance of these lavas suggests that they are very young. We propose that the South Pandora Ridge represents a recently activated, pre-existing lineament that includes Rotuma Island. New isotope data from the North Fiji Basin suggest that a previously proposed southern-hemisphere, globe-encircling mantle anomaly may not be continuous west of the Samoa volcanic province.

Keywords

Parental Magma Spreading Center Magma Type Pillow Basalt Mariana Trough 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Sinton
    • 1
  • Richard C. Price
    • 2
  • Kevin T. M. Johnson
    • 1
  • Hubert Staudigel
    • 3
  • Alan Zindler
    • 4
  1. 1.Hawaii Institute of Geophysics, School of Ocean and Earth Science and TechnologyUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeologyLaTrobe UniversityBundooraAustralia
  3. 3.Scripps Institution of OceanographyLa JollaUSA
  4. 4.Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia UniversityPalisadesUSA

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