Geochemistry of Lesser Antilles lavas

  • S. Andy DuFrane (Contributor)
  • Simon Turner (Contributor)
  • Anthony Dosseto (Contributor)
  • Matthijs Van Soest (Contributor)



We present new U-series disequilibrium and radiogenic isotope data for 7 mafic lavas from the Lesser Antilles arc. These are combined with published data in an internally consistent model that quantitatively estimates the amount of sediment and fluid added to the source of the Lesser Antilles arc system. Some lavas form an array consistent with bulk sediment addition (0.2-2%) whereas others appear to require addition of 0.4-2% sediment melt, particularly in the south of the arc. Evidence for both bulk sediment and sediment melt addition can be found within both the northern and central sections of the arc suggesting a thermal structure whereby the upper portions of the subducted sediment pile lie close to their solidus beneath much of the arc. Addition of up to 5% fluid derived from altered oceanic crust to these sediment enriched mantle wedge source regions can simulate the majority of the lavas on a plot of 207Pb/204Pb versus Ce/Pb. By taking into account the range in calculated wedge compositions and allowing for some mobility of Th in the fluid, the same model can also account for much of the observed range of U-Th-Ra disequilibria, especially if the eclogitic residue contains trace amounts of rutile. The implication of this more complex model is that the time scales for fluid addition and differentiation could be significantly shorter than those estimated in some previous studies.
Date made available2009

Cite this