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Primitive island arc and oceanic lavas from the Hunter Ridge-Hunter Fracture Zone. Evidence from glass, olivine and spinel compositions

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posted on 2023-05-25, 21:50 authored by Sigurdsson, IA, Vadim KamenetskyVadim Kamenetsky, Crawford, AJ, Eggins, SM, Zlobin, SK
At its southernmost end, the main spreading centre of the North Fiji Basin is propagating into arc crust of the poorly-known Hunter Ridge. We define nine magmatic groups from major element glass chemistry and olivine and spinel compositions in samples dredged from twenty six sites in this area by the ''R/V Academician A. Nesmeyanov'' in 1990. These include groups of boninites, island arc tholeiites (IAT), mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB), enriched mid-ocean ridge basalts (E-MORB), olivine porphyritic andesites and basaltic andesite and Na-rhyolites. Primitive lavas containing highly forsteritic olivine phenocrysts are common in all the groups, except for the rhyolites.We report over 100 glass analyses for dredged rocks from this region, and about 300 olivine-spinel pairs for representatives of all the magmatic groups identified, except the Na-rhyolites.The MORB in this region are probably produced at the propagating spreading centre in the southern part of the North Fiji Basin. Juxtaposition of shallow, hot MORB-source diapirs supplying the MORB in this area, and the sub-arc damp, refractory upper mantle beneath the Hunter Ridge, provides suitable petrogenetic conditions to produce a range of magma types, from island arc tholeiites through to high-Ca boninites. The latter were recovered in eleven dredges.The E-MORB lavas recovered from the extreme southern margin of the North Fiji Basin are shown to be essentially identical to those dredged from adjacent older South Fiji Basin crust. It is hypothesized that the former were either scraped off the South Fiji Basin crust during an episode of oblique subduction that may have generated the Hunter Ridge during the last 5 Myr, or alternatively, that slices of the South Fiji Basin crust were trapped and incorporated into the North Fiji Basin as the subduction zones fronting the Vanuatu arc stepped or propagated southward.


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Mineralogy and Petrology



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