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North Tongan high-Ca boninite petrogenesis: the role of the Samoan plume and subduction zone - transform fault transition

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 09:41 authored by Leonid Danyushevsky, Sobolev, AV, Trevor FalloonTrevor Falloon
High-Ca boninites are characterized by high CaO Al2O3values (> 0.75). In the North Tonga forearc, they occur close to the northern termination of the trench, where it swings west into a major transform fault. Contemporaneous OIB-like lavas have been found close to the boninites on the forearc slope into the trench. The Tongan boninites are characterized by: olivine up to Fo94; a range of (La/Yb)N 0.4-13 in rocks with very similar major element compositions; isotopic composition similar to Samoan OIB regardless of La/Yb values; and a correlation of H2O content of primary melts with the degree of enrichment, the most depleted varieties being most H2O enriched with H2O K2O > 30. The most enriched varieties have olivine up to Fo93 and are identical to adjacent OIB-like lavas in terms of incompatible element and isotopic ratios. The primary Tongan high-Ca boninite melts had MgO contents ~24 wt% and very high temperatures (~ 1470 °C at the depth of magma generation). We argue that the open edge of the mantle wedge beneath the transform fault has allowed the Samoan plume to intrude above the subducted slab. The intruding plume has been depleted by extraction of OIB magmas, leaving a hot, dry, refractory peridotite residue. Slab-derived fluids react with the plume residue, producing boninite primary magmas at 15-17 kbar. During ascent to the surface, some of these magmas mix with earlier formed OIB-like melts, producing a range of variably-enriched boninite melts. As a result, more enriched boninites have lower H2O contents and Mg# values, but the same isotopic composition as the more depleted boninites in this magma series. © 1995.


Publication title

Journal of Geodynamics








School of Natural Sciences


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

Place of publication

Oxford, UK

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  • Restricted

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Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences

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