Date of Original Version
Arc basalts are more oxidized than mid-ocean ridge basalts, but it is unclear whether this difference is due to differentiation processes in the Earth’s crust or to a fundamental difference in the oxygen fugacity of their mantle sources. Distinguishing between these two hypotheses is important for understanding redox-sensitive processes related to arc magmatism, and thus more broadly how Earth materials cycle globally. We present major, volatile, and trace element concentrations in combination with Fe3+/∑Fe ratios determined in olivine-hosted glass inclusions and submarine glasses from five Mariana arc volcanoes and two regions of the Mariana Trough. For single eruptions, Fe3+/∑Fe ratios vary along liquid lines of descent that are either slightly oxidizing (olivine + clinopyroxene + plagioclase fractionation, CO2 ± H2O degassing) or reducing (olivine + clinopyroxene + plagioclase ± magnetite fractionation, CO2 + H2O + S degassing). Mariana samples are consistent with a global relationship between calc-alkaline affinity and both magmatic H2O and magmatic oxygen fugacity, where wetter, higher oxygen fugacity magmas display greater affinity for calc-alkaline differentiation. We find, however, that low-pressure differentiation cannot explain the majority of variations observed in Fe3+/∑Fe ratios for Mariana arc basalts, requiring primary differences in magmatic oxygen fugacity. Calculated oxygen fugacities of primary mantle melts at the pressures and temperatures of melt segregation are significantly oxidized relative to mid-ocean ridge basalts (∼QFM, where QFM is quartz–fayalite–magnetite buffer), ranging from QFM + 1·0 to QFM + 1·6 for Mariana arc basalts, whereas back-arc related samples record primary oxygen fugacities that range from QFM + 0·1 to QFM + 0·5. This Mariana arc sample suite includes a diversity of subduction influences, from lesser influence of a homogeneous H2O-rich component in the back-arc, to sediment melt- and fluid-dominated influences along the arc. Primary melt oxygen fugacity does not correlate significantly with sediment melt contributions (e.g. Th/La), nor can it be attributed to previous melt extraction in the back-arc. Primary melt oxygen fugacity correlates strongly with indices of slab fluids (e.g. Ba/La) from the Mariana Trough through the Mariana arc, increasing by 1·5 orders of magnitude as Ba/La increases by a factor of 10 relative to mid-ocean ridge basalts. These results suggest that contributions from the slab to the mantle wedge may be responsible for the elevated oxygen fugacity recorded by Mariana arc basalts and that slab fluids are potentially very oxidized.
M. N. Brounce, K. A. Kelley and E. Cottrell. (2014). "Variations in Fe3+/∑Fe of Mariana Arc Basalts and Mantle Wedge fO2." Journal of Petrology. 55(12): 2513-2536. Available at: http://petrology.oxfordjournals.org/content/55/12/2513.full