Volcanoes of the Diamante cross-chain: evidence for a mid-crustal felsic magma body beneath the Southern Izu–Bonin–Mariana arc
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Three submarine Diamante cross-chain volcanoes in the southern Mariana arc mark a magma-healed zone of along-arc (north–south) extension that allows either mafic mantle-derived basalts or felsic magmas from the middle of thickened arc crust to erupt. The largest volcano is East Diamante, with a well-developed (5×10 km) caldera that formed via violent felsic submarine eruptions beginning nearly 0.5 Ma. One or more of these eruptions also formed a giant submarine dune field extending 30 km to the NW of the volcano. Felsic igneous activity continues at least as recently as c. 20 000 years ago, with emplacement of resurgent dacite domes, some hot enough to power the only black smoker hydrothermal system known in the Mariana arc. In contrast, felsic eruptions do not occur on the two volcanoes to the west, implying that the mid-crustal felsic zone does not underlie the thinner crust of the Mariana Trough back-arc basin. Diamante cross-chain lavas define a medium K suite; mafic lava phenocryst assemblages show arc-like associations of anorthite-rich plagioclase with Fe-rich olivine. Magmatic temperatures for a basaltic andesite and three dacites are c. 1100 °C and c. 800 °C, respectively, typical for cool, wet, subduction-related felsic magmas. Felsic magmas formed under low-P crustal conditions. The Diamante cross-chain is the southernmost of at least seven and perhaps eight Mariana arc volcanoes in a c. 115 km long arc segment characterized by felsic eruptions. This is the ‘Anatahan Felsic Province’, which may have formed above a mid-crustal tonalite body that formed by fractionation or was re-melted when heated by c. 1200 °C mafic, mantle-derived magmas. Across- and along-arc variations suggest that felsic eruptions and dome emplacement occurred when midcrustal tonalite was remobilized by intrusions of mafic magma, while north–south extension facilitated the development of conduits to the surface.