Along-arc variations in the pre-eruptive H2O contents of mariana arc magmas inferred from fractionation paths

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New experimental results are presented on the effects of dissolved H2O during low-pressure (< 2 kbar) crystal fractionation in Mariana Arc magmas. The resulting fractionation paths are used to infer the pre-eruptive H2O concentrations of Mariana lavas from seamounts and islands. Estimated pre-eruptive H2O concentrations for Mariana seamounts (2-3 wt %) are relatively constant and similar to three out of eight of the subaerial volcanoes (Alamagan, Pagan and Asuncion). These H2O concentrations are also similar to measured H2O concentrations in Mariana back-arc lavas. Lavas from the remaining islands (Guguan, Agrigan, Uracas, Anatahan and possibly Sarigan) have significantly higher H2O (5-6%) than the other seamounts and islands. These high-H2O islands are distributed throughout the arc and do not show any relation to variations in subduction parameters such as subduction angle or obliquity. Analysis of the H2O concentrations of olivine-hosted melt inclusions from seven islands (Guguan, Pagan, Agrigan, Anatahan, Alamagan, Asuncion and Sarigan) and one seamount (Fukujin) match the estimates inferred from the liquid lines of descent. One interpretation of our results is that the flux of volatiles from the Mariana sub-arc mantle is fundamentally heterogeneous. Alternatively, the variations in pre-eruptive H2O concentrations could reflect variations in the depth and extent of fractionation of Mariana magmas. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

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Journal of Petrology