2007 Volume 83 Issue 1 Pages 1-15
Studies of the origin of magmas in subduction zones, particularly in the Japanese island arc, have been significantly advanced by petrological, geochemical, geophysical and experimental studies during last 50 years. Kuno's original model1) for magma generation in the Japanese island arc, that tholeiite magmas are formed at relatively shallow levels in the mantle on the Pacific Ocean side whereas alkali basalt magmas are formed in deeper levels on the Japan Sea side, stimulated subsequent studies, particularly high-pressure experimental studies in which the author participated. Recent seismic tomographic studies of regions beneath the Japanese island arc demonstrate that seismic low-velocity zones where primary magmas are formed have finger-like shapes and rise obliquely from the Japan Sea side toward the Pacific Ocean side. Based on experimental studies, it is suggested that the compositions of primary magmas depend mainly on the H2O content and degree of melting in the melting zones, and that primary tholeiite magmas are formed by 10-25% melting of the source mantle containing less than 0.2wt.% H2O. High-alumina basalt and alkali basalt magmas are formed by smaller degrees of melting of similar mantle, whereas primary boninite magmas are formed by more than 20% melting of the source mantle with more than 0.2wt.% H2O, and finally, high-magnesia andesite magmas are formed by smaller degrees of melting of similar mantle.
(Contributed by Ikuo KUSHIRO, M.J.A.)