Slab to back-arc to arc: Fluid and melt pathways through the mantle wedge beneath the Lesser Antilles

Hicks, Stephen P., Bie, Lidong ORCID:, Rychert, Catherine A., Harmon, Nicholas, Goes, Saskia, Rietbrock, Andreas, Wei, Songqiao Shawn, Collier, Jenny S., Henstock, Timothy J., Lynch, Lloyd, Prytulak, Julie, Macpherson, Colin G., Schlaphorst, David, Wilkinson, Jamie J., Blundy, Jonathan D., Cooper, George F., Davy, Richard G. and Kendall, John-Michael and the VoiLA Working Group (2023) Slab to back-arc to arc: Fluid and melt pathways through the mantle wedge beneath the Lesser Antilles. Science Advances, 9 (5). ISSN 2375-2548

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Volatiles expelled from subducted plates promote melting of the overlying warm mantle, feeding arc volcanism. However, debates continue over the factors controlling melt generation and transport, and how these determine the placement of volcanoes. To broaden our synoptic view of these fundamental mantle wedge processes, we image seismic attenuation beneath the Lesser Antilles arc, an end-member system that slowly subducts old, tectonized lithosphere. Punctuated anomalies with high ratios of bulk-to-shear attenuation (Qκ−1/Qμ−1 > 0.6) and VP/VS (>1.83) lie 40 km above the slab, representing expelled fluids that are retained in a cold boundary layer, transporting fluids toward the back-arc. The strongest attenuation (1000/QS ~ 20), characterizing melt in warm mantle, lies beneath the back-arc, revealing how back-arc mantle feeds arc volcanoes. Melt ponds under the upper plate and percolates toward the arc along structures from earlier back-arc spreading, demonstrating how slab dehydration, upper-plate properties, past tectonics, and resulting melt pathways collectively condition volcanism.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: This work was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) large grant, with the following grant numbers NE/K010654/1 (to S.P.H., C.A.R., N.H., and T.J.H.), NE/K010743/1 (to S.G., J.S.C., J.J.W., and R.G.D.), NE/K010611/1 (to L.B. and A.R.), NE/K010824/1 (to G.F.C. and C.G.M.), and NE/K010662/1 (to J.D.B. and J.-M.K.); National Science Foundation grant 2042553 (to S.S.W.); and Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) UIDB/50019/2020 - IDL (to D.S.). Data and materials availability: All data needed to evaluate the conclusions in the paper are present in the paper and/or the Supplementary Materials. Our spectral inversion t* dataset and the resulting 3D attenuation tomography models can be found at the following repository:
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Geosciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2023 12:31
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2023 01:18
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.add2143


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