A temporal control on the isotopic compositions of the Antarctic Peninsula arc

Radiogenic isotopic compositions of arc magmas are a key tool for studying active margin evolution. They have two isotopic end-members: melts formed mostly from juvenile asthenosphere and melts sourced from evolved continental crust/continental lithospheric mantle. Cordilleran-margins are typically more isotopically juvenile near the trench, and conversely, increasingly evolved landward. However, this model has not been tested on the ~1,500 km long Mesozoic-Cenozoic arc of the Antarctic Peninsula. Here we show that while geochemical compositions remain largely constant, radiogenic isotopes become increasingly juvenile with time. Unlike other continental arcs, there is no association between isotopic composition and spatial distribution. This is attributed to: (i) slow subduction of young oceanic lithosphere, resulting in narrowing of the arc and reduced capacity to incorporate continental crust into melts, and (ii) the Cenozoic decrease in convergence rate, which reduced the friction in the slab-overriding plate interface, allowing the arc melts to increasingly source from young juvenile asthenosphere.


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Authors: Bastias-Silva, J., Burton-Johnson, A. ORCIDORCID record for A. Burton-Johnson, Chew, D., Riley, T. ORCIDORCID record for T. Riley, Jara, W., Chiaradia, M.

On this site: Alex Burton-Johnson, Teal Riley
27 March, 2024
Communications Earth & Environment / 5
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