Parallel volcanic chains generated by plume-slab interaction (invited)


Deep mantle plumes are buoyant upwellings rising from the Earth’s core-mantle boundary to its surface, and describing most hotspot chains. Mechanisms to explain dual chains of hotspot volcanoes for the Hawaiian-Emperor and Yellowstone chains fail to explain the geochemical similarity and large distances between contemporaneous volcanoes of the Tasmantid and Lord Howe chains in the SW Pacific. Using numerical models of mantle convection, we demonstrate how slab-plume interaction can lead to sustained plume branching over a period of >40 million years to produce parallel volcanic chains that track plate motion. We propose a three-part model. first, slabs stagnate in the upper mantle, explaining fast upper mantle P-wave velocity anomalies; second, deflection of a plume conduit by a stagnating slab splits it into two branches 650-900 km apart, aligning to the orientation of the trench axis; third, plume branches heat the stagnating slab causing partial melting and release of volatiles which percolate to the surface forming two contemporaneous volcanic chains with slab-influenced EM1 signatures. Our results highlight the critical role of long-lived subduction on the evolution and behaviour of intraplate volcanism.

May 24, 2022 2:00 PM — 2:30 PM
Vienna, Austria