UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Sr-Nd-Hf-Pb isotope and trace element evidence for the origin of alkalic basalts in the Garibaldi Belt, northern Cascade Arc Mullen, Emily K.; Weis, Dominique


In the Garibaldi Belt, the northern segment of the Cascade arc, basalts at Bridge River Cones, Salal Glacier, and Mt. Meager (BSM volcanic centers) are alkalic, atypical for an arc setting. Subduction signatures are negligible or absent from primitive alkalic basalts from Salal Glacier and Bridge River, while altered oceanic crust may have contributed a minimal amount of fluid at Mt. Meager. More evolved BSM basalts display trace element signatures considered typical of arc lavas, but this is a consequence of deep crustal assimilation rather than primary input from the subducted slab. Primary BSM basalts represent 3–8% melts that segregated from enriched garnet lherzolite at significantly higher temperatures and pressures (70–105 km) than calc-alkaline Cascade arc basalts. The BSM mantle source is significantly more incompatible element-enriched than the depleted mantle tapped by calc-alkaline Cascade arc basalts. The BSM basalts are also isotopically distinct from calc-alkaline Cascade arc basalts, more similar to MORB and intraplate basalts of the NE Pacific and NW North America. The relatively deep, hot, and geochemically distinct mantle source for BSM basalts is consistent with upwelling asthenosphere. The BSM volcanic centers are close to the projected trace of the Nootka fault, which forms the boundary between the subducting Juan de Fuca plate and the near-stagnant Explorer plate. A gap or attenuated zone between the plates may promote upwelling of enriched asthenosphere that undergoes low-degree decompression melting to generate alkalic basalts that are essentially free of slab input yet occur in an arc setting. An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2013 American Geophysical Union.

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