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Origin and Evolution of the Fatu Kapa Magmatic System (North-Western Lau Back-arc Basin): Insight on the Genesis of High-Silica Lavas

Abstract : Abstract The South Eastern Futuna Volcanic Zone (SEFVZ; 50 km × 80 km) is located in the NW of the Lau back-arc basin at the northern boundary of the Futuna and YAO microplates. Fatu Kapa is an area (∼15 km × 10 km) of diffuse volcanic activity at the center of the SEFVZ and at the intersection of two volcanic axes with the Futuna fracture zone. At this place, the volcanic, tectonic, and hydrothermal activities are enhanced. The most differentiated volcanic series of the whole Futuna region are found in the Fatu Kapa area. Based on major and trace element data, four groups of volcanic rocks are distinguished in the Fatu Kapa area. The main groups form a well-defined transitional suite from basalts to andesitic and dacitic lavas that display enrichments in Zr, Cl and heavy rare earth elements. The most mafic lavas of this group are extracted from an Indian-type depleted mantle mixed with a component with trace element and isotopic characteristics similar to the nearby Samoa mantle plume. There is no evidence of subduction input. Petrological modelling shows that the mafic melts of the main group (Group 1A) evolve towards trachyandesites through fractional crystallization coupled with assimilation of 10 % of a Cl-rich and Th-poor melt generated by low-degree (≤2 %) partial melting of a hydrothermally altered basaltic crust. Rocks of Groups 1B(a) and 1B(b) were then generated by mixing of a mafic melt from Group 1A with a melt obtained by partial melting of andesitic and hydrothermally altered wallrock in shallow magma chambers. Extremely high Cl concentrations can be explained by assimilation of interstitial K- and Cl-rich brines in the pore water of the hydrothermally altered volcanic rocks before melting of these rocks. This is in good agreement with unusual extension of the Fatu Kapa hydrothermal area and indicates that, in the north of the Lau basin, the microplate boundaries are privileged zones to generate a complex felsic magmatism within areas of widespread hydrothermal alteration. Our study confirms the importance of assimilation and fractional crystallization and mixing processes in generating high-silica lavas in back-arc environments decoupled from subduction.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 19, 2021 - 3:32:46 PM
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Aurélien Jeanvoine, Gilles Chazot, Shasa Labanieh, Ewan Pelleter, Yves Fouquet. Origin and Evolution of the Fatu Kapa Magmatic System (North-Western Lau Back-arc Basin): Insight on the Genesis of High-Silica Lavas. Journal of Petrology, 2021, 62 (9), ⟨10.1093/petrology/egab039⟩. ⟨hal-03436884⟩



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