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Geophysical Research Letters

Iron isotopic evidence for convective resurfacing of recycled arc-front mantle beneath back-arc basins

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Abstract

[1] Geophysical observations suggest sub-arc convective flow transports melt-exhausted and metasomatized wedge mantle into deeper mantle regions. Reciprocally, asthenospheric, fertile mantle may supply back-arc ridges distal to the trench by shallow, lateral mantle ingress, insinuating initial wedge mantle depletion in its back-arc region. Here we show that light Fe isotope compositions of the Central Lau Spreading Centre located in the Lau back-arc basin on the farside of the Tonga-Kermadec arc are indicative for derivation from a modified arc-front mantle with elemental and Nd-isotopic memory of former slab fluid addition. We propose that this shallow wedge material has been transported from the sub-arc mantle to the back-arc either convectively or in a buoyant diapir. This implies that melt-depleted mantle in subduction zones is, at least in parts, recycled in a resurfacing loop. This can explain the depletion in back-arc regions, and the progressively depleted nature of island arc sources in maturing arc systems.

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Ancillary