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Geochemical Journal
Geochemical Journal An open access journal for geochemistry
Published for geochemistry community from Geochemical Society of Japan.

Petrology and geochemistry of volcanic rocks dredged from the Okinawa Trough, an active back-arc basin

Hideo Ishizuka, Yoshihisa Kawanobe, Hitoshi Sakai
Geochemical Journal, Vol. 24, No. 2, P. 75-92, 1990


Volcanic rocks dredged from the Okinawa Trough, an active back-arc basin behind the Ryukyu island arc (IA)-trench system associated with a subduction of the Philippine Sea plate, encompass a wide variety of petrology and geochemistry, ranging from basalts to rhyolites through andesites. The basalts, consisting of highly vesicular pillow lavas, are moderately porphyritic with phenocrysts of olivine, plagioclase and minor clinopyroxene. Their glass and bulk rock compositions, especially their large-ion lithophile element (LILE) abundances, are transitional between the Ryukyu IA basalts (LILE-enriched) and normal-type mid-ocean ridge basalts (N-MORBs, LILE-depleted). The rhyolites are moderately porphyritic, including phenocrysts of plagioclase and orthopyroxene with or without clinopyroxene and hornblende, and have the close geochemical affinity with the Ryukyu IA rhyolites. It follows that the rhyolites were derived from an IA-type source material similar to that for the Ryukyu IA volcanics, but the basalts were derived from a less LILE-enriched source material approaching that for N-MORBs. Available K-Ar ages indicate the rhyolitic volcanism prior to the basaltic one. It is, therefore, most likely that the magma source region beneath the Okinawa Trough has changed with time from an IA type to a N-MORB type during the back-arc rifting. On the other hand, the andesites are highly porphyritic with phenocrysts of plagioclase, orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene, and have the K-Ar age similar to that of the basalts. Most importantly, the andesites exhibit many lines of textural and compositional evidence for mixing between basaltic melt, and rhyolitic partial melt of pre-existing IA lower crust that was presumably heated by the former melt. This again suggests the structural transition of the magma source region beneath the Okinawa Trough, which may be most characteristic of the initial stage of back-arc basin volcanism in general.

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