Cross-arc geochemical variations in volcanic fields in Honduras C.A.: progressive changes in source with distance from the volcanic front
A geochemical traverse across Honduras reveals the heterogeneity of the mantle underneath Central America. Alkali basalts from Lake Yojoa (170km behind the front) have low 87Sr/86Sr but high La/Yb, and elevated incompatible trace element abundances, consistent with derivation from a normal mid-ocean ridge basalt source mantle via low degrees of melting. These lavas lack evidence for an enriched source thought to be intermingled with normal mid-ocean ridge basalt source mantle beneath most of Central America. The amplitude of the subducted slab signature decreases smoothly with distance from the volcanic front. Lavas from Zacate Grande, the area nearest to the volcanic front (17 km behind the arc), display large ion lithophile element enrichment and high field strength element depletion indicating the involvement of subducted material in magma genesis. Components of subducted material are not evident in lavas from Lake Yojoa, the area furthest from the arc. Basalts and basaltic andesites from Tegucigalpa, 102 km behind the volcanic front, are geochemically intermediate between those of Lake Yojoa and Zacate Grande. The lavas from Tegucigalpa show a decreased influence of the subduction component, and are affected by assimilation-fractional crystallization processes at shallow depths. The gradual decrease in the subducted component from the volcanic front to Zacate Grande, Tegucigalpa and finally Lake Yojoa contrasts with the abrupt decrease documented for southeast Guatemala, the only other area in Central America where a cross-arc transect has been studied.