, Volume 70, Issue 4, pp 367-379

Magma genesis in the New Britain island-arc: Constraints from Nd and Sr isotopes and trace-element patterns

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Abstract

A selected suite of fresh volcanic rocks from the New Britain island arc has been analyzed for 143Nd/144Nd, 87Sr/86Sr, major and trace elements to investigate relationships between isotopes, trace elements and petrology, and depth to the underlying Benioff zone. From these relationships inferences about magma generation are made utilizing Nd and Sr isotope systematics in possible source materials. Lavas ranging in composition from basalt to rhyolite show minimal variation of 143Nd/144Nd. Small variations in 87Sr/86Sr do not correlate with depth to the Benioff zone, but are related to magma type. Nd-Sr isotopes suggest that island arc lavas in general are derived from a mixture of suboceanic mantle and hydrothermally altered mid-ocean ridge-type basalt, but the New Britain magma source appears homogeneous with little indication of either the involvement of oceanic crust or mantle inhomogeneity. Trace element patterns in New Britain lavas are not consistent with Nd isotope data for currently accepted petrologic and trace element models of magma genesis. Mafic lavas from New Britain and other island arcs have anomalously high Sr/Nd, possibly due to components derived from subducted oceanic crust.