A regional assessment of volcanic and terrigenous inputs to the Western Pacific Ocean "Subduction Factory"
Scudder, Rachel Palley
MetadataShow full item record
This study utilizes major-, trace- and rare earth elements, as well as radiogenic isotopes (Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, Pb), in bulk sediment, extracted glass shards, and discrete ash layers, at Ocean Drilling Program Site 1149 (Izu-Bonin Arc), Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 52 (Mariana Arc), and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Sites C0011 and C0012 (Nankai Trough) in order to characterize and quantify the abundance of dispersed ash, rather than discrete ash layers, in sediments from the Northwest Pacific Ocean. Combination of the geochemical methods with multivariate statistical techniques, such as Q-mode Factor Analysis and multiple linear regressions, allows for differentiation of unique chemistries of the dispersed ash, and the terrigenous components. Therefore, we can document sources that change through time and space. At Site 1149 the bulk sediment is a mixture of two dust and two dispersed ash sources. The two dust sources show contrasting accumulation patterns changing over at a tectonically and climactically active time in Earth's past (~22 Ma) and yield a more complete history of Asian aridity than has been previously considered. We interpret the source of the ashes as basalt from the Izu-Bonin Front Arc (IBFA) and rhyolite from the Honshu Arc (HR). Comparison of the dispersed ash component to the discrete ash layers suggests that eruption frequency, rather than eruption size, drives the dispersed ash record. In contrast, at Site 52 Chinese Loess, IBFA, dispersed boninite from the Izu-Bonin arc, and a dispersed felsic ash of unknown origin are the sources. Interestingly, there are no boninite layers, yet boninite is dispersed within the sediment. Changes in the volcanic and eolian inputs through time indicate strong arc- and climate-related controls. The bulk sediment at Site C0011 is characterized by eolian dust, HR, and a dacite of unknown origin. Site C0012 is comprised of eolian dust, a dacite of unknown origin, as well as dacite and andesite from the Izu-Bonin Arc. Analysis of the total ash record at these two sites provides insight into subduction zone mass balance and water budgets as well as information about the changes in physical properties that result from the alteration of volcanic ash.