Arculus Richard J.

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Richard J.

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  • Article
    Submarine back-arc lava with arc signature : Fonualei Spreading Center, northeast Lau Basin, Tonga
    (American Geophysical Union, 2008-08-30) Keller, Nicole S. ; Arculus, Richard J. ; Hermann, Jörg ; Richards, Simon
    We present major, volatile, and trace elements for quenched glasses from the Fonualei Spreading Center, a nascent spreading system situated very close to the Tofua Volcanic Arc (20 km at the closest), in the northeast Lau Basin. The glasses are basalts and basaltic andesites and are inferred to have originated from a relatively hot and depleted mantle wedge. The Fonualei Spreading Center shows island arc basalt (IAB) affinities, indistinguishable from the Tofua Arc. Within the Fonualei Spreading Center no geochemical trends can be seen with depth to the slab and/or distance to the arc, despite a difference in depth to the slab of >50 km. Therefore we infer that all the subduction-related magmatism is captured by the back arc as the adjacent arc is shut off. There is a sharp contrast between the main spreading area of the Fonualei Spreading Center (FSC) and its northernmost termination, the Mangatolu Triple Junction (MTJ). The MTJ samples are characteristic back-arc basin basalts (BABB). We propose that the MTJ and FSC have different mantle sources, reflecting different mantle origins and/or different melting processes. We also document a decrease in mantle depletion from the south of the FSC to the MTJ, which is the opposite to what has been documented for the rest of the Lau Basin where depletion generally increases from south to north. We attribute this reverse trend to the influx of less depleted mantle through the tear between the Australian and the Pacific plates, at the northern boundary of the Lau Basin.
  • Article
    Geodynamic implications for zonal and meridional isotopic patterns across the northern Lau and North Fiji Basins
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2017-03-17) Price, Allison A. ; Jackson, Matthew G. ; Blichert-Toft, Janne ; Kurz, Mark D. ; Gill, James B. ; Blusztajn, Jerzy S. ; Jenner, Frances ; Brens, Raul ; Arculus, Richard J.
    We present new Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf-He isotopic data for 65 volcanic samples from the northern Lau and North Fiji Basins. This includes 47 lavas obtained from 40 dredge sites spanning an east-west transect across the Lau and North Fiji basins, 10 ocean island basalt (OIB)-type lavas collected from seven Fijian islands, and eight OIB lavas sampled on Rotuma. For the first time, we are able to map clear north-south and east-west geochemical gradients in 87Sr/86Sr across the northern Lau and North Fiji Basins: lavas with the most geochemically enriched radiogenic isotopic signatures are located in the northeast Lau Basin, while signatures of geochemical enrichment are diminished to the south and west away from the Samoan hot spot. Based on these geochemical patterns and plate reconstructions of the region, these observations are best explained by the addition of Samoa, Rurutu, and Rarotonga hot spot material over the past 4 Ma. We suggest that underplated Samoan material has been advected into the Lau Basin over the past ∼4 Ma. As the slab migrated west (and toward the Samoan plume) via rollback over time, younger and hotter (and therefore less viscous) underplated Samoan plume material was entrained. Thus, entrainment efficiency of underplated plume material was enhanced, and Samoan plume signatures in the Lau Basin became stronger as the trench approached the Samoan hot spot. The addition of subducted volcanoes from the Cook-Austral Volcanic Lineament first from the Rarotonga hot spot, then followed by the Rurutu hot spot, contributes to the extreme geochemical signatures observed in the northeast Lau Basin.
  • Article
    Oxidising agents in sub-arc mantle melts link slab devolatilisation and arc magmas
    (Nature Publishing Group, 2018-08-29) Bénard, Antoine ; Klimm, Kevin ; Woodland, Alan B. ; Arculus, Richard J. ; Wilke, Max ; Botcharnikov, Roman ; Shimizu, Nobumichi ; Nebel, Oliver ; Rivard, Camille ; Ionov, Dmitri A.
    Subduction zone magmas are more oxidised on eruption than those at mid-ocean ridges. This is attributed either to oxidising components, derived from subducted lithosphere (slab) and added to the mantle wedge, or to oxidation processes occurring during magma ascent via differentiation. Here we provide direct evidence for contributions of oxidising slab agents to melts trapped in the sub-arc mantle. Measurements of sulfur (S) valence state in sub-arc mantle peridotites identify sulfate, both as crystalline anhydrite (CaSO4) and dissolved SO42− in spinel-hosted glass (formerly melt) inclusions. Copper-rich sulfide precipitates in the inclusions and increased Fe3+/∑Fe in spinel record a S6+–Fe2+ redox coupling during melt percolation through the sub-arc mantle. Sulfate-rich glass inclusions exhibit high U/Th, Pb/Ce, Sr/Nd and δ34S (+ 7 to + 11‰), indicating the involvement of dehydration products of serpentinised slab rocks in their parental melt sources. These observations provide a link between liberated slab components and oxidised arc magmas.
  • Article
    Shallow seafloor gas emissions near Heard and McDonald Islands on the Kerguelen Plateau, Southern Indian Ocean
    (American Geophysical Union, 2019-12-10) Spain, Erica A. ; Johnson, Sean C. ; Hutton, Briony ; Whittaker, Joanne M. ; Lucieer, Vanessa ; Watson, Sally ; Fox, Jodi M. ; Lupton, John E. ; Arculus, Richard J. ; Bradney, A. ; Coffin, Millard F.
    Bubble emission mechanisms from submerged large igneous provinces remains enigmatic. The Kerguelen Plateau, a large igneous province in the southern Indian Ocean, has a long sustained history of active volcanism and glacial/interglacial cycles of sedimentation, both of which may cause seafloor bubble production. We present the results of hydroacoustic flare observations around the underexplored volcanically active Heard Island and McDonald Islands on the Central Kerguelen Plateau. Flares were observed with a split‐beam echosounder and characterized using multifrequency decibel differencing. Deep‐tow camera footage, water properties, water column δ3He, subbottom profile, and sediment δ13C and δ34S data were analyzed to consider flare mechanisms. Excess δ3He near McDonald Islands seeps, indicating mantle‐derived input, suggests proximal hydrothermal activity; McDonald Islands flares may thus indicate CO2, methane, and other minor gas bubbles associated with shallow diffuse hydrothermal venting. The Heard Island seep environment, with subbottom acoustic blanking in thick sediment, muted 3He signal, and δ13C and δ34S fractionation factors, suggest that Heard Island seeps may either be methane gas (possibly both shallow biogenic methane and deeper‐sourced thermogenic methane related to geothermal heat from onshore volcanism) or a combination of methane and CO2, such as seen in sediment‐hosted geothermal systems. These data provide the first evidence of submarine gas escape on the Central Kerguelen Plateau and expand our understanding of seafloor processes and carbon cycling in the data‐poor southern Indian Ocean. Extensive sedimentation of the Kerguelen Plateau and additional zones of submarine volcanic activity mean additional seeps or vents may lie outside the small survey area proximal to the islands.