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Solid earth sciences
Philippine Sea Plate inception, evolution and consumption with special emphasis on the early stages of Izu-Bonin-Mariana subduction
Philippine Sea Plate, Izu-Bonin-Mariana, subduction initiation, boninite, fore-arc basalt, serpentinite mud volcano, back-arc basin, transform fault, arc terrane, plume-ridge interaction
Schematic tectono-magmatic model of IBM subduction initiation and early evolution. Special emphasis has been done on the geodynamic context of various magma1 eruptions. The white lines in stage "40 Ma - present" represent the former positions of plate boundaries or the base of the upper plate in stage "45-40 Ma".
TF = transform fault, PAC = Pacific, FAB = Forearc basalts
We compiled the most relevant data acquired throughout the Philippine Sea Plate (PSP) from the early expeditions to the most recent. We also analyzed the various explanatory models in light of this updated dataset. The following main conclusions are discussed in this study. (1) The Izanagi slab detachment beneath the East Asia margin around 60–55 Ma likely triggered the Oki-Daito plume occurrence, Mesozoic proto-PSP splitting, shortening and then failure across the paleo-transform boundary between the proto-PSP and the Pacific Plate, Izu-Bonin-Mariana subduction initiation and ultimately PSP inception. (2) The initial splitting phase of the composite proto-PSP under the plume influence at ∼54–48 Ma led to the formation of the long-lived West Philippine Basin and short-lived oceanic basins, part of whose crust has been ambiguously called “fore-arc basalts” (FABs). (3) Shortening across the paleo-transform boundary evolved into thrusting within the Pacific Plate at ∼52–50 Ma, allowing it to subduct beneath the newly formed PSP, which was composed of an alternance of thick Mesozoic terranes and thin oceanic lithosphere. (4) The first magmas rising from the shallow mantle corner, after being hydrated by the subducting Pacific crust beneath the young oceanic crust near the upper plate spreading centers at ∼49–48 Ma were boninites. Both the so-called FABs and the boninites formed at a significant distance from the incipient trench, not in a fore-arc position as previously claimed. The magmas erupted for 15 m.y. in some places, probably near the intersections between back-arc spreading centers and the arc. (5) As the Pacific crust reached greater depths and the oceanic basins cooled and thickened at ∼44–45 Ma, the composition of the lavas evolved into high-Mg andesites and then arc tholeiites and calc-alkaline andesites. (6) Tectonic erosion processes removed about 150–200 km of frontal margin during the Neogene, consuming most or all of the Pacific ophiolite initially accreted to the PSP. The result was exposure of the FABs, boninites, and early volcanics that are near the trench today. (7) Serpentinite mud volcanoes observed in the Mariana fore-arc may have formed above the remnants of the paleo-transform boundary between the proto-PSP and the Pacific Plate.