Ocean Science Journal

, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 413–436 | Cite as

The Role of Bimodal Magmatism in Seafloor Massive Sulfide (SMS) Ore-forming Systems at the Middle Okinawa Trough, Japan

  • Toru YamasakiEmail author
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Deep Seabed Mining Resources


Igneous rocks from three distinct morphological areas, Iheya North Knoll, Iheya Minor Ridge, and Izena Hole, in the actively rifting middle Okinawa Trough, Japan, were investigated to understand petrogenetic relations among seafloor massive sulfide (SMS) mineralization (including sources of metals), igneous processes, and tectonics. Mafic rocks in the Iheya Minor Ridge form mountain-chain-like morphology due to the eruption of low-viscosity magma through normal faults formed by the extensional regime. The normal faults also play a role as major pathways of seawater recharge and induced basalt-hosted hydrothermal circulation and mineralization. Felsic rocks in the Iheya North Knoll form lava dome-like morphology due to the periodic ascent of felsic magma. In contrast, the Izena Hole is a subsidence caldera formed by the voluminous eruption of felsic magma. In both cases, felsic magma is essentially formed by water-fluxed melting of basaltic materials formed by the previous mafic magmatism. This mechanism reasonably explains the similar isotopic signatures between mafic and felsic rocks by contemporaneous magmatism of bimodal composition, which has been suggested by previous studies. Introduction of seawater into the deep crust and water-fluxed melting in these areas inevitably involves high-temperature hydrothermal alteration and leaching of metal elements from mafic materials and produces Cu-rich, bimodal-mafic mineralization. Since the magmatism produces voluminous felsic rocks in the upper crust, Cu-poor but Zn- and Pb-rich, bimodal-felsic mineralization is an expected result of felsic magmatism.


Okinawa Trough Iheya North Knoll Iheya Minor Ridge Izena Hole seafloor massive sulfide (SMS) deposits 


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© Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST) and the Korean Society of Oceanography (KSO) and Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Institute of Geology and GeoinformationGeological Survey of Japan (AIST)IbarakiJapan

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