Peridotites from a ductile shear zone within back-arc lithospheric mantle, southern Mariana Trench: Results of a Shinkai 6500 dive

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Abstract

[1] Two N–S fault zones in the southern Mariana fore arc record at least 20 km of left-lateral displacement. We examined the eastward facing slope of one of the fault zones (the West Santa Rosa Bank fault) from 6469 to 5957 m water depth using the submersible Shinkai 6500 (YK06-12 Dive 973) as part of a cruise by the R/V Yokosuka in 2006. The dive recovered residual but still partly fertile lherzolite, residual lherzolite, and dunite; the samples show mylonitic, porphyroclastic, and coarse, moderately deformed secondary textures. Crystal-preferred orientations of olivine within the peridotites show a typical [100](010) pattern, with the fabric intensity decreasing from rocks with coarse secondary texture to mylonites. The sampled peridotites therefore represent a ductile shear zone within the lithospheric mantle of the overriding plate. Peridotites were probably exposed in association with a tear in the subducting slab, previously inferred from bathymetry and seismicity. Furthermore, although the dive site is located in the fore arc close to the Mariana Trench, spinel compositions within the sampled peridotites are comparable to those from the Mariana Trough back arc, suggesting that back-arc basin mantle is exposed along the West Santa Rosa Bank fault.

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