Victoria University of Wellington
Geomorphology and Geochemistry of Back Arc Basins in the Havre Trough, Southwest Pacific.
Degree: 2018, Victoria University of Wellington
The Havre Trough back arc system located behind the Kermadec Arc, in the southwest Pacific, is a classic example of an intra-oceanic back arc system. Subduction driven magmatism is focused at the arc front, and melting in the back arc is accompanied by back arc rifting. This study examines the deep back arc basins of the southern Havre Trough. Compared to the well-studied Kermadec Arc front volcanoes, the back arc basins remain poorly explored, yet are important features in understanding key structural and geochemical dynamics of the subduction system.
The back arc is characterised by areas of deeper basins and constructional cross-arc volcanic edifices, which had previously been attributed to ‘rift regime’ and ‘arc regime’, respectively. In this study, recently acquired multibeam data was used to produce digital terrain maps that show individual basins within the Havre Trough that host a range of different morphological features, such as elongated ridges, nearly-flat basin floors, and small volcanic cones. Lavas dredged from the 10 basins were analysed, eight of which sample the rift regime and two sample the arc regime.
The back arc basin lavas are basalts to basaltic-andesites and show fractionation of olivine + pyroxene ± plagioclase mineral assemblages. Olivine phenocrysts were tested for chemical equilibrium and predominantly show that crystallisation occurred in equilibrium with host melts. However, petrographic features such as dissolution and zoning within plagioclase show evidence of multistage magmatic evolution.
Whole rock trace element geochemistry reveals trace element characteristics typical of volcanic arc lavas, such as enrichments in large ion lithophile elements (LILE) and Pb relative to high field strength elements (HFSE). From west to east, the back arc basin lavas show a decrease in NbN/YbN, consistent with trench perpendicular flow and progressive melt extraction towards the volcanic front. There is also a broad correlation between NbN/YbN and distance along the strike of the subduction zone. This may suggest a component of trench parallel flow of the mantle wedge, with increasing depletion northwards, although further evidence is needed to rule out pre-existing mantle heterogeneity.
Ba/Th values, which trace the addition of slab-derived aqueous fluids, decrease with distance from the arc front. This indicates that the aqueous fluid component becomes less prominent with increasing distance from the arc front. Conversely, the basin lavas exhibit broadly increasing LaN/SmN values with distance from the arc front. As LaN/SmN can be used to trace the deep subduction component, i.e. sediment melt contribution, greater LaN/SmN suggests increasing contribution of a sediment signature away from the arc front. The parameters that measure recycled component flux are comparable between rift and arc regimes, so it is unlikely that increased volatile fluxing leads to the larger concentrations of magmatic activity displayed in arc regimes. Gill volcano (arc regime) has similar to higher NbN/YbN than…
Advisors/Committee Members: Hantler, Monica, Wysoczanski, Richard, Timm, Christian.
Subjects/Keywords: Havre Trough; Back Arc; basin morphology; back arc basin basalts
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Pullan, V. (2018). Geomorphology and Geochemistry of Back Arc Basins in the Havre Trough, Southwest Pacific. (Masters Thesis). Victoria University of Wellington. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10063/7802
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Pullan, Vanisha. “Geomorphology and Geochemistry of Back Arc Basins in the Havre Trough, Southwest Pacific.” 2018. Masters Thesis, Victoria University of Wellington. Accessed July 07, 2020.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Pullan, Vanisha. “Geomorphology and Geochemistry of Back Arc Basins in the Havre Trough, Southwest Pacific.” 2018. Web. 07 Jul 2020.
Pullan V. Geomorphology and Geochemistry of Back Arc Basins in the Havre Trough, Southwest Pacific. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. Victoria University of Wellington; 2018. [cited 2020 Jul 07].
Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10063/7802.
Council of Science Editors:
Pullan V. Geomorphology and Geochemistry of Back Arc Basins in the Havre Trough, Southwest Pacific. [Masters Thesis]. Victoria University of Wellington; 2018. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10063/7802