Geodynamic implications for zonal and meridional isotopic patterns across the northern Lau and North Fiji Basins
We present new Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf-He isotopic data for 65 volcanic samples from the northern Lau and North Fiji Basins. This includes 47 lavas obtained from 40 dredge sites spanning an east-west transect across the Lau and North Fiji basins, 10 ocean island basalt (OIB)-type lavas collected from seven Fijian islands, and eight OIB lavas sampled on Rotuma. For the first time, we are able to map clear north-south and east-west geochemical gradients in 87Sr/86Sr across the northern Lau and North Fiji Basins: lavas with the most geochemically enriched radiogenic isotopic signatures are located in the northeast Lau Basin, while signatures of geochemical enrichment are diminished to the south and west away from the Samoan hot spot. Based on these geochemical patterns and plate reconstructions of the region, these observations are best explained by the addition of Samoa, Rurutu, and Rarotonga hot spot material over the past 4 Ma. We suggest that underplated Samoan material has been advected into the Lau Basin over the past ̃4 Ma. As the slab migrated west (and toward the Samoan plume) via rollback over time, younger and hotter (and therefore less viscous) underplated Samoan plume material was entrained. Thus, entrainment efficiency of underplated plume material was enhanced, and Samoan plume signatures in the Lau Basin became stronger as the trench approached the Samoan hot spot. The addition of subducted volcanoes from the Cook-Austral Volcanic Lineament first from the Rarotonga hot spot, then followed by the Rurutu hot spot, contributes to the extreme geochemical signatures observed in the northeast Lau Basin.