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Clift, Peter D; Dixon, John E (1994): Geochemistry of volcaniclastic layers of the Lau Basin and Tonga Platform. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Clift, PD; Dixon, JE (1994): Variations in arc volcanism and sedimentation related to rifting of the Lau Basin (Southwest Pacific). In: Hawkins, J; Parson, L; Allan, J; et al. (eds.), Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, College Station, TX (Ocean Drilling Program), 135, 23-49,

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A series of six holes in the Lau Basin and two in the Tonga Platform were drilled during Leg 135 of the Ocean Drilling Program. The volcaniclastic sands found within the sedimentary cover are typically dominated by fragments of dacite glass, although basaltic andesite glass, calcic plagioclase, and ortho- and clinopyroxene grains are also identified. Total silica contents of individual glass grains indicate a bimodal spread of values at sites close to the Eastern Lau Spreading Center (ELSC), whereas those adjacent to the remnant arc (Lau Ridge) showed a complete spread of compositions. Analyses from the Tonga Platform (Site 840) indicate a prerift phase of arc volcanism (7.0-5.0 Ma) when a complete spectrum of silica values was erupted before backarc basin rifting occurred and the locus of volcanism switched to intrabasinal seamounts producing very similar island-arc tholeiites and their differentiates.
The principal mode of deposition of volcanic sediment in the Lau Basin is thought to be by proximal mass-flows and turbidity currents from submarine, intrabasinal seamounts. Continuous volcaniclastic sedimentation throughout the opening of the basin indicates that volcanism during the initial stages of basin rifting occurred in the form of intrabasinal submarine edifices, before the reestablishment of a fixed chain of arc volcanoes, adjacent to the Tonga Platform at approximately 3.0 Ma in the southern Lau Basin. Renewal of arc volcanism approximately coincided with the propagation of backarc spreading centers into that area. Trace and rare earth element analyses of basaltic grains (SiO2 = 45%-55%) from the Tonga Platform (Site 840) before and after rifting show systematic trends in the abundances of incompatible elements and in incompatible element ratios that are consistent with either progressive depletion and then reenrichment of a mantle source, or an equivalent progressive increase and then decrease in the degree of melting. On top of this, there is some indication of a systematic shift in the character of enrichment towards a greater abundance of mobile incompatibles associated with the flux from the slab. The culmination of this cycle can be considered to be the modern Tofua Arc. These trends are most reasonably attributed to a thinning of the arc lithosphere before rifting and the associated increase in the height of the melting column within the subarc asthenosphere. Subsequent magmatic underplating after rifting causes a thickening of the arc lithosphere and a fall in the degree of partial melting, with a progressive slab-flux component being added to the source. The incompatible element ratio trends are correlated whether they are high-field-strength elements, rare-earth elements, or mobile large-ion-lithophile elements, implying that they relate to incompatibilities between source and melt, even though the absolute values in the basic rocks are typically arc-like rather than MORB-like, particularly in their enrichment in Ba and depletion in Nb. The behavior of Nb in particular appears to have important implications for the process by which arc-tholeiites acquire their distinctive trace-element characteristics.
Median Latitude: -20.353223 * Median Longitude: -176.698806 * South-bound Latitude: -22.220667 * West-bound Longitude: -177.862000 * North-bound Latitude: -18.501000 * East-bound Longitude: -175.748983
Date/Time Start: 1990-12-21T20:35:00 * Date/Time End: 1991-01-30T00:00:00
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