Hydrothermal activity and magma genesis along a propagating back-arc basin: Valu Fa Ridge (southern Lau Basin).

Fretzdorff, S., Schwarz-Schampera, U., Gibson, H.L., Garbe-Schönberg, C.-Dieter, Hauff, Folkmar and Stoffers, Peter (2006) Hydrothermal activity and magma genesis along a propagating back-arc basin: Valu Fa Ridge (southern Lau Basin). Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 111 (B8). B08205.

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Valu Fa Ridge is an intraoceanic back-arc spreading center located at the southern prolongation of the Lau basin. Bathymetric observations as well as detailed sampling have been carried out along the spreading axis in order to trace hydrothermal and volcanic activity and to study magma generation processes. The survey shows that widespread lava flows from recent volcanic eruptions covered most of the Vai Lili hydrothermal vent field; only diffuse low-temperature discharge and the formation of thin layers of siliceous precipitates have been observed. Evidence of present-day hydrothermal activity at the Hine Hina site is indicated by a thermal anomaly in the overlying water column. Our studies did not reveal any signs of hydrothermal activity either above the seismically imaged magma chamber at 22°25′S or across the southern rift fault zone (22°51′S). Lavas recovered along the Valu Fa Ridge range from basaltic andesites to rhyolites with SiO2 contents higher than reported from any other intraoceanic back-arc basin. On the basis of the highly variable degrees of crystal fractionation along axis, the development of small disconnected magma bodies is suggested. In addition, the geochemical character of the volcanic rocks shows that the transition zone from oceanic spreading to propagating rifting is located south of the Hine Hina vent field in the vicinity of 22°35′S.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Geology; Valu Fa Ridge; hydrothermal activity; geochemistry; mineralogy; petrology; SO167
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
ISSN: 0148-0227
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2008 16:50
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2018 13:05
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/7995

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