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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-01-07
    Description: Highlights • The youngest known (2 Ma) volcanically-active subduction system. • Exceptionally diverse range of magma compositions coeval and spatially juxtaposed. • Mixing of an upwelling asthenospheric mantle melt and a slab melt. • Modern example of an immature subduction system building its proto forearc. • Modern analog of the environment where SSZ ophiolites lithosphere forms. Abstract The development of ideas leading to a greater understanding of subduction initiation is limited by the scarcity of present-day examples. Furthermore, the few examples identified so far unfortunately provide few insights into the nature of magmatism at the inception of subduction. Here we report new observations from the Matthew and Hunter (M&H) subduction zone, a very young subduction zone located in the South-West Pacific. Tectonics of the area show it is younger than 2 Ma, making the M&H the youngest known volcanically-active subduction system and hence providing unique insights into the earliest stages of subduction initiation. Volcanism in this area comprises an exceptionally diverse range of contemporaneously erupting magma compositions which are spatially juxtaposed. Pb isotopic compositions and abundance of LILE and REE strongly suggest melting of upwelling asthenospheric mantle (Indian MORB) and subducted oceanic crust (Pacific MORB of the South Fiji Basin) and the mixing of these two components. Volcanism occurs much closer to the trench compared to volcanism in more mature subduction zones. We demonstrate that the M&H subduction zone is a modern example of an immature subduction system at the stage of pre-arc, near-trench magmatism. It is not yet building an arc but what we propose to call a Subduction Initiation Terrane (SITER). Today, the proto-forearc of the M&H subduction zone is a collage of these SITERs, coeval back-arc domains and remnants of pre-existing terranes including old Vitiaz Arc crust. The M&H area represents a modern analog of a Supra Subduction Zone setting where potentially a majority of ophiolites have formed their crustal and lithospheric components. Present-day magmatism in the M&H area therefore provides clues to understanding unforeseen distribution of contrasted magmatic rock types in fossil forearcs, whether they are at the front of mature subduction zones or in ophiolites.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
    Format: text
    Format: text
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  • 2
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    In:  Geological Society Special Publication 369: 91-107.
    Publication Date: 2013-07-24
    Description: Understanding the genesis of the very peculiar 600 km-wide Santos Basin–São Paulo Plateau system and its narrow conjugate Namibe Margin is a kinematic and structural problem. Several hypotheses have been proposed in order to explain the genesis of this system that imply the same amount of horizontal movement. We investigate the consequences of the horizontal movement in the Santos Basin, based in plate kinematic reconstructions. The kinematic history of this system that we present here, based on the interpretation of seismic profiles and kinematic constraints, has the following consequences: (1) there is no evidence of a ridge jump sensu stricto but, rather, a southwards propagation in the Central Segment of the South Atlantic that starts in the northern part, between the NE Brazilian and Gabonese margins; (2) the Namibe margin evolved as a transform passive margin; (3) the opening direction of the Santos Basin–São Paulo Plateau system is oblique to the general opening motions of the South American and African plates; and (4) this opening is younger (6 Ma) than those of the other basins of the Central Segment of the South Atlantic.
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The development of ideas leading to a greater understanding of subduction initiation is limited by the scarcity of present-day examples. Furthermore, the few examples identified so far unfortunately provide few insights into the nature of magmatism at the inception of subduction. Here we report new observations from the Matthew and Hunter (M&H) subduction zone, a very young subduction zone located in the South-West Pacific. Tectonics of the area show it is younger than 2 Ma, making the M&H the youngest known volcanically-active subduction system and hence providing unique insights into the earliest stages of subduction initiation. Volcanism in this area comprises an exceptionally diverse range of contemporaneously erupting magma compositions which are spatially juxtaposed. Pb isotopic compositions and abundance of LILE and REE strongly suggest melting of upwelling asthenospheric mantle (Indian MORB) and subducted oceanic crust (Pacific MORB of the South Fiji Basin) and the mixing of these two components. Volcanism occurs much closer to the trench compared to volcanism in more mature subduction zones. We demonstrate that the M&H subduction zone is a modern example of an immature subduction system at the stage of pre-arc, near-trench magmatism. It is not yet building an arc but what we propose to call a Subduction Initiation Terrane (SITER). Today, the proto-forearc of the M&H subduction zone is a collage of these SITERs, coeval back-arc domains and remnants of pre-existing terranes including old Vitiaz Arc crust. The M&H area represents a modern analog of a Supra Subduction Zone setting where potentially a majority of ophiolites have formed their crustal and lithospheric components. Present-day magmatism in the M&H area therefore provides clues to understanding unforeseen distribution of contrasted magmatic rock types in fossil forearcs, whether they are at the front of mature subduction zones or in ophiolites.
    Print ISSN: 0012-821X
    Electronic ISSN: 1385-013X
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Published by Elsevier
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2015-09-12
    Description: We present the first comprehensive seismic-stratigraphic analysis of Fairway Basin, which is situated on the rifted continent of Zealandia in the Tasman Sea, southwest Pacific, between Australia and New Caledonia. The basin is 700 km long, 150 km wide, and has water depths of 500–3000 m. We describe depositional architecture and paleogeographic evolution of this basin. Basin formation was concurrent with two tectonic events: (i) Cretaceous rifting during eastern Gondwana breakup and (ii) initiation and Cenozoic evolution of Tonga–Kermadec subduction system to the east of the basin. To interpret the basin history we compiled and interpreted 2D seismic-reflection profiles and make correlations with DSDP boreholes and the geology of New Caledonia. Five seismic-stratigraphic units were defined. The deepest and oldest unit, FW3, folded and faulted can be correlated with volcaniclastic sediments and magmatic rocks in New Caledonia that are associated with Mesozoic Gondwana margin subduction. Alternatively, given the basin location 200–300 km west of New Caledonia and inboard of the ancient plate boundary, the unit could have formed as Gondwana intra-continental basin with no known correlative. The overlying unit FW2b records syn-rift deposition, probably associated with Cretaceous Gondwana breakup. Subaerial erosion supplied terrigenous sediment into the deltas in the northern part of the basin, as suggested by the truncation surfaces on the basement highs and sigmoid reflector geometries within unit FW2b respectively. Above, unit FW2a records post-rift sedimentation and passive subsidence as the Tasman Sea opened and the Fairway Basin drifted away from Australia. Subsidence led to the flooding of the basement highs and burial of wave-cut surfaces. Eocene compressive deformation resulted in minor folding and tilting within the Fairway Basin and was associated with the formation of many diapiric structures. The top of unit FW2 is an extensive unconformity that is associated with erosion and truncation on surrounding ridges. Above this unconformity, unit FW1b is interpreted as a turbidite system sourced from topography created during the Eocene tectonic event, which we interpret as being related to Tonga–Kermadec subduction initiation. Pelagic carbonate sedimentation is now prevalent. Unit FW1a has progressively draped the basin during Oligocene to Pleistocene subsidence. Many small volcanic cones were erupted during this final phase of subsidence, either as a delayed consequence of subduction initiation, or related to Tasmantid and Lord Howe hotspot trails. The northern Fairway Ridge remains close to sea level and its reef system continues to supply carbonate detrital sediments into the basin, most likely during sea-level lowstands. Fairway Basin contains a nearly continuous record of tectonic and paleoclimatic events in the southwest Pacific since Cretaceous time. Its paleogeographic history is a key piece in the puzzle for understanding patterns of regional biodiversity in the southwest Pacific. © 2015 The Authors. Basin Research © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd, European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers and International Association of Sedimentologists
    Print ISSN: 0950-091X
    Electronic ISSN: 1365-2117
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Wiley
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  • 5
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