Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 97, Issue 3, pp 361–377 | Cite as

Petrology and geochemistry of boninite series volcanic rocks from the Mariana trench

  • Sherman H. Bloomer
  • James W. Hawkins


Boninite series volcanic rocks have been recovered from three dredge hauls on the inner slope of the Mariana Trench. These hauls included olivine boninites, boninites, boninitic andesites and boninitic dacites, as well as island arc tholeiitic basalts and andesites. The boninite series volcanics range from 52 to 68% SiO2, and are characterized by very low abundances of high-field-strength cations and heavy-rare-earth elements. Boninites and olivine boninites have phenocrysts of olivine and orthopyroxene, the andesites phenocrysts of orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene, and the dacites orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, and plagioclase. Most of the major and trace element variation in the series from boninite to boninitic dacite can be modelled by fractionation of olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, and plagioclase in the proportions 2.5∶4∶1∶2, leaving 47% residual liquid. The fractionation must be in part open-system: reverse zoned phenocrysts, resorbed olivine and plagioclase xenocrysts, and bulk rock compositions which cannot be fit by simple closed system crystallization indicate some magma mixing and phenocryst accumulation. Two boninitic magma stems can be identified, with similar high-field-strength element abundances, but different amounts of Ca, Na, Al and light-rare-earth elements. There is also evidence for a magma stem transitional in chemistry from the boninites to arc tholeiites. The compositions of these boninites are consistent with hypotheses for boninite formation by partial melting of a depleted mantle mixed with an incompatible element enriched fluid. The Mariana forearc boninite series lacks a strong iron enrichment, but produces andesites with lower Ti, Al and Y/Zr, and higher Mg, Ni and Cr than typical calcalkaline arc andesites and dacites. Boninites in the Mariana system were erupted only in the earliest phases of subduction zone activity.


Olivine Subduction Zone Tholeiitic Basalt Bulk Rock Composition Iron Enrichment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arndt NT, Fleet ME (1979) Stable and metastable pyroxene crystallization in layered komatiite lava flows. Am Mineral 64:856–864Google Scholar
  2. Arth JG (1976) Behaviour of trace elements during magmatic processes: summary of theoretical models and their application. J Res US Geol Surv 4:41–47Google Scholar
  3. Beccaluva L, Maciotta G, Savelli C, Savelli G, Zeda O (1980) K/Ar ages of volcanics dredged in the Philippine Sea (Mariana, Yap, and Palau Trenches and PaArece Vela Basin). In: Hayes DE (ed) The tectonic and geologic evolution of southeast asian seas and islands. Geophys Monogr Geophys Union, Washington D.C., 23:247–268Google Scholar
  4. Beccaluva L, Ohmenstetter D, Ohmenstetter M, Paupy A (1978) The Vourinos ophiolitic complex (Greece) has been created in an island arc setting: petrographic and geochemical evidence. Ofioliti 3:62–64Google Scholar
  5. Bloomer SH (1982) Structure and evolution of the Mariana Trench, petrologic and geochemical studies. Unpublished Ph D thesis, University of California, San Diego, p 256Google Scholar
  6. Bloomer SH (1983) Distribution and origin of igneous rock from the landward slope of the Mariana Trench — implications for its structure and evolution. J Geophys Res 88:7411–7428Google Scholar
  7. Bloomer SH (1987) Geochemical characteristics of boninite and tholeiite series volcanic rocks from the Mariana forearc. Geol Soc Am Spec Pap (in press)Google Scholar
  8. Bloomer S, Melchior J, Poreda R, Hawkins J (1979) Mariana arctrench gap studies: petrology of boninites and evidence for a “boninite series”. EOS Trans Am Geophys Union 60:968Google Scholar
  9. Bloomer S, Melchior J, Evans C, Francis RD (1985) Techniques for the chemical analysis of igneous rocks at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Scripps Institution Ocean Reference number 85:66Google Scholar
  10. Boyd FR, England JL (1965) The rhombic enstatite-clinoenstatite inversion. Carnegie Inst Washington Yearb 64:117–120Google Scholar
  11. Cameron M, Papike JJ (1981) Structural and chemical variations in pyroxenes. Am Mineral 66:1–50Google Scholar
  12. Cameron WE, Nisbet EG, Dietrich VJ (1979) Boninites, komatiites and ophiolitic basalts. Nature 280:550–553Google Scholar
  13. Cameron WE, McCulloch MT, Walker DA (1983) Boninite petrogenesis: chemical and Nd-Sr isotopic constraints. Earth Planet Sci Lett 65:75–89Google Scholar
  14. Coish RA, Church WR (1979) Igneous geochemistry of mafic rocks in the Betts Cove Ophiolite, Newfoundland. Contrib Mineral Petrol 70:29–39Google Scholar
  15. Coish RA, Hickey R, Frey FA (1982) Rare earth element geochemistry of the Betts Cove ophiolite, Newfoundland: complexities in ophiolite formation. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 46:2117–2135Google Scholar
  16. Craig H, Lupton JE (1976) Primordial neon, helium and hydrogen in oceanic basalts. Earth Planet Sci Lett 31:369–385Google Scholar
  17. Crawford AJ (1980) A clinoenstatite-bearing cumulate olivine pyroxenite from Howqua, Victoria. Contrib Mineral Petrol 75:353–367Google Scholar
  18. Crawford AJ, Beccaluva L, Serri G (1981) Tectono-magmatic evolution of the West Philippine-Mariana region and the origin of boninites. Earth Planet Sci Lett 54:346–356Google Scholar
  19. Crawford AJ, Cameron WE, Keays RR (1984) The association boninite-low-Ti andesite-tholeiite in the Heathcote Greenstone Belt, Victoria: ensimatic setting for the early Lachasn Fold Belt. Aust J Earth Sci 31:197–208Google Scholar
  20. Dallwitz WB (1968) Chemical composition and genesis of Clinoenstatite-bearing volcanic rocks from Cape Vogel, Papua: a discussion. 23rd International Geological Congress 2:229–242Google Scholar
  21. Dallwitz WB, Green DH, Thompson JE (1966) Clinoenstatite in a volcanic rock from the Cape Vogel area, Papua. J Petrol 7:375–403Google Scholar
  22. Dick HJB, Bullen T (1984) Chromian spinel as a petrogenetic indicator in abyssal and alpine-type peridotites and spatially associated lavas. Contrib Mineral Petrol 86:54–76Google Scholar
  23. Dietrich V, Emmerman R, Oberhansli R, Puchlet H (1978) Geochemistry of basaltic and gabbroic rocks from the West Mariana Basin and the Mariana Trench. Earth Planet Sci Lett 39:127–144Google Scholar
  24. Dixon TH, Batiza R (1979) Petrology and chemistry of Recent lavas in the northern Marianas: implications for the origin of island arc basalts. Contrib Mineral Petrol 70:167–181Google Scholar
  25. Dobson PF, O'Neil JR (1987) Stable isotope compositions and water contents of boninite series volcanic rocks from Chichijima, Bonin Islands, Japan. Earth Planet Sci Lett 82:75–86Google Scholar
  26. Duncan RA, Green DH (1980) Role of multistage melting in the formation of oceanic crust. Geology 8:22–26Google Scholar
  27. Echeverria LM (1980) Tertiary or Mesozoic komatiites from Gorgona Island, Columbia: field relations and geochemistry. Contrib Mineral Petrol 73:253–266Google Scholar
  28. Ellis CH (1981) Calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy. Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 60. In: Hussong D, Uyeda S (eds) Initial Report of Deep Sea Drilling Project, 60. US Government Printing Office, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  29. Frey FA, Haskin MA, Poetz JA, Haskin LA (1968) Rare earth abundances in some basic rocks. J Geophys Res 73:6085–6098Google Scholar
  30. Gill JB (1978) Role of trace element partition coefficients in models of andesite genesis. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 42:709–724Google Scholar
  31. Gill JB (1984) Sr-Pb-Nd isotopic evidence that both MORB and OIB sources contribute to oceanic island arc magmas in Fiji. Earth Planet Sci Lett 68:443–458Google Scholar
  32. Green DH, Edgar AD, Beasley P, Kiss E, Ware NG (1974) Upper mantle source for some hawaiites, mugearites, and benmorites. Contrib Mineral Petrol 48:33–43Google Scholar
  33. Hawkins JW, Bloomer SH, Evans CA, Melchior JT (1984) Evolution of Intra-oceanic arc-trench systems. Tectonophysics 102:175–205Google Scholar
  34. Hickey R, Frey FA (1982) Geochemical characteristics of boninite series volcanics: implications for their source. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 46:2099–2115Google Scholar
  35. Howard AH, Stolper E (1981) Experimental crystallization of boninites from the Mariana Trench. Trans Am Geophys Union 62:1091Google Scholar
  36. Irvine TN, Findlay TC (1972) Alpine-type peridotite with particular reference to the bay of Islands igneous complex. Publ Earth Phys Branch Dept Energy Mines Res 42:97–140Google Scholar
  37. Irving AJ (1978) A review of experimental studies of crystal/liquid partitioning. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 42:743–770Google Scholar
  38. Irving AJ, Frey FA (1978) Distribution of trace elements between garnet megacrysts and host volcanic liquids of kimberlitic to rhyolitic composition. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 42:771–787Google Scholar
  39. Ishii T (1980) Pyroxene geothermometry of basalts and an andesite from the Palau-Kyushu and West Mariana Ridges. Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 59. In: Kroenke L, Scott R (eds) Initial Report of Deep Sea Drilling Project, 59. US Government Printing Office, Washington D.C., pp 693–718Google Scholar
  40. Jenner GA (1981) Geochemistry of high-Mg andesites from Cape Vogel, Papua, New Guinea. Chem Geol 33:307–332Google Scholar
  41. Jenner GA, Green DH (1983) Equilibria in the Mg-rich part of the pyroxene quadrilateral. Mineral Mag 47:153–160Google Scholar
  42. Johanssen A (1937) A descriptive petrography of the igneous rocks. The intermediate rocks. University Chicago Press, Chicago, 3:360Google Scholar
  43. Kikuchi Y (1890) On pyroxene components in certain volcanic rocks from Bonin Island. J Coll Sci Imp Univ Jpn 3:67–89Google Scholar
  44. Komatsu M (1980) Clinoenstatite in volcanic rocks from the Bonin Islands. Contrib Mineral Petrol 74:329–338Google Scholar
  45. Kuroda N, Shiraki K, Urano H (1978) Boninite as a possible calc-alkaline primary magma. Bull Volc 78:563–575Google Scholar
  46. Langmuir CH, Bender JF, Bence AE, Hanson GN, Taylor SR (1977) Petrogenesis of basalts from the FAMOUS area, Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Earth Planet Sci Lett 36:133–156Google Scholar
  47. McCallum IS, Charette MP (1978) Zr and Nb partition coefficients: implications for the genesis of mare basalts, KREEP and sea floor basalts. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 42:859–870Google Scholar
  48. Meijer A (1976) Pb and Sr isotopic data bearing on the origin of volcanic rocks from the Mariana island arc system. Geol Soc Am Bull 87:1358–1369Google Scholar
  49. Meijer A (1980) Primitive arc volcanism and a boninite series: examples from western Pacific island arcs. In: Hayes DE (ed) The tectonic and geologic evolution of southeast asian seas and islands. Geophys Monogr Am Geophys Union Washington D.C. 23:271–282Google Scholar
  50. Meijer A, Hanan B (1981) Pb isotopic composition of boninite and related rocks from the Mariana and Bonin fore-arc regions. EOS Trans Am Geophys Union 62:408Google Scholar
  51. Meijer A, Reagan M (1984) Petrology and geochemistry of the island of Sarigan in the Mariana Arc; calc-alkaline volcanism in an oceanic setting. Contrib Mineral Petrol 77:337–354Google Scholar
  52. Melchior JM, Hawkins JW (1980) Petrology of Mariana back-arc basin basalts. EOS Trans Am Geophys Union 61:1143Google Scholar
  53. Morris JD, Hart SR (1983) Isotopic and incompatible element constraints on the genesis of island arc volcanics from Cold Bay and Amak Islands, Aleutians and implications for mantle structure. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 47:2015–2030Google Scholar
  54. Mysen BO (1979) Trace-element partitioning between garnet peridotite minerals and water-rich vapor: experimental data from 5 to 30 kbar. Am Mineral 64:274–287Google Scholar
  55. Natland JH (1981) Crystal morphologies and pyroxene compositions in boninites and tholeiitic basalts from Deep Sea Drilling Project Holes 458 and 459 in the Mariana fore-arc region. In: Hussong D, Uyeda S (eds) Initial Report of Deep Sea Drilling Project 60:681–709Google Scholar
  56. Nelson DR, Crawford AJ, McCulloch MT (1984) Nd-Sr isotopic and geochemical systematics in Cambrian boninites and tholeiites from Victoria, Australia. Contrib Mineral Petrol 88:164–172Google Scholar
  57. Pearce JA (1980) Geochemical evidence for the genesis and eruptive setting of lavas from Tethyan ophiolites. In: Panayiotou A (ed) Ophiolites. Proceedings, International Ophiolite Symposium, Cyprus, 1979. Cyprus Geol Surv Dept, pp 261–272Google Scholar
  58. Pearce JA, Norry MJ (1979) Petrogenetic implications of Ti, Zr, Y and Nb variations in volcanic rocks. Contrib Mineral Petrol 69:33–47Google Scholar
  59. Peterson J (1891) Der Boninit von Peel Island. Jahrb Hamburg Wiss Anst 8:341–349Google Scholar
  60. Philpotts JA, Schnetzler CC, Hart SR (1971) Geochemical aspects of some Japanese lavas. Earth Planet Sci Lett 12:89–96Google Scholar
  61. Reagan MK, Meijer A (1984) Geology and geochemistry of early arc-volcanic rocks from Guam. Geol Soc Am Bull 95:701–713Google Scholar
  62. Roeder PL, Emslie RF (1970) Olivine-liquid equilibrium. Contrib Mineral Petrol 29:275–289Google Scholar
  63. Roeder PL, Campbell IH, Jamieson HE (1979) A re-evaluation of the olivine-spinel geothermometer. Contrib Mineral Petrol 68:325–334Google Scholar
  64. Sato H (1977) Nickel content of basaltic magmas: identification of primary magmas and a measure of the degree of olivine fractionation. Lithos 10:113–120Google Scholar
  65. Schminke H-U, Rautenschlein M, Robinson PT, Mehegan JM (1983) Troodos extrusive series of Cyprus: a comparison with oceanic crust. Geology 4:405–409Google Scholar
  66. Sharaskin AY, Dobretsov NL, Sobolev NV (1980) Marianites: the clinoenstatite bearing pillow-lavas associated with the ophiolite assemblage of Mariana trench. In: Panayiotou A (ed) Ophiolites. Proceedings, International Ophiolite Symposium, Cyprus, 1979. Cyprus Geol Surv Dept, pp 473–479Google Scholar
  67. Sharaskin AY, Karpenko SF, Ljalikov AV, Zlobin SK, Balashov YuB (1983) Correlated 143Nd/144Nd and 87Sr/86Sr on boninites from Mariana and Tonga Arcs. Ofioliti 8:431–438Google Scholar
  68. Shiraki K, Kuroda N (1977) Boninite revisited. J Geogr Tokyo 86:34–50Google Scholar
  69. Shiraki K, Kuroda N, Urano H (1979) Clinoenstatite-bearing boninite of Muko-Jima, Bonin Islands. Geol Soc Jpn 85:591–594Google Scholar
  70. Stern RJ (1981) A common mantle source for western Pacific island arcs and “hot spot” magmas-implications for layering in the upper mantle. Carnegie Inst Washington Yearb 81:455–462Google Scholar
  71. Stern RJ, Bibee LD (1981) Esmeralda Bank: geochemistry of an active submarine volcano in the Mariana Island arc and its implications for magma genesis in island arcs. Carnegie Inst Washington Yearb 79:465–472Google Scholar
  72. Sun S, Nesbitt RW (1978) Geochemical regularities and genetic significance of ophiolitic basalt. Geology 6:689–693Google Scholar
  73. Sun S, Nesbitt RW, Sharaskin AY (1979) Geochemical characteristics of mid-ocean ridge basalts. Earth Planet Sci Lett 44:119–138Google Scholar
  74. Tarney J, Saunders AD, Weaver SD, Donnellan NCB, Hendry GL (1978) Minor-element geochemistry of basalts from Leg 49, North Atlantic Ocean. In: Luyendyk BP, Cann JR (eds) Initial Report of Deep Sea Sea Drilling Project, 49. US Government Printing Office, Washington D.C., pp 657–691Google Scholar
  75. Umino S (1986) Magma mixing in boninite sequence of Chichijima, Bonin Islands. J Volc Geotherm Res 29:125–157Google Scholar
  76. Upadhyay HP, Neale ERW (1979) On the tectonic regimes of ophiolite genesis. Earth Planet Sci Lett 43:93–102Google Scholar
  77. Walker DA, Cameron WE (1983) Boninite primary magmas: evidence from the Cape Vogel Peninsula, PNG. Contrib Mineral Petrol 83:150–158Google Scholar
  78. Wells PRA (1977) Pyroxene thermometry in simple and complex systems. Contrib Mineral Petrol 62:129–139Google Scholar
  79. Zouenshain LP, Kuzmin MI (1978) The Khan-Taishir Ophiolite complex of western Mongolia, its petrology, origin and comparison with other ophiolitic complexes. Contrib Mineral Petrol 67:95–100Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sherman H. Bloomer
    • 1
  • James W. Hawkins
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeologyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Geological Research Division A-015Scripps Institution of OceanographyLa JollaUSA

Personalised recommendations