Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Jeffrey G. Ryan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Zachary D. Atlas, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Aurelie Germa, Ph.D.


Boninites, Fluid-mobile elements, Izu-Bonin-Mariana, Laser ablation, Subduction initiation, Volcanic glass


Fluid-mobile elements (FMEs) such as B, Cs, As, Li and Tl can mobilize readily under low P-T conditions (0.2-0.5 GPa). This makes them effective geochemical tracers that can be used as a way of tracking fluid-rock exchanges at the shallow depths encountered in the earliest stages of subduction.

The Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) subduction system is unique in that it preserves a record of the sequences produced from the onset of subduction through the development of arc magmatism. International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 352 recovered >800m of boninite core material from the earliest IBM magmatic events.

Select boninitic glasses from these IODP 352 cores, found mostly as selvages on the rinds of pillow lavas and as clasts within hyaloclastites, were examined via EPMA and laser ablation ICP-MS techniques. The boninite glasses analyzed were separated into two categories – low-silica boninite (LSB) and high-silica boninites (HSB), based on the bulk chemistry and mineralogy of the lithostratigraphic locations from which the glass samples occur in the drill core. LSB are the earlier erupted boninite series, which show both greater variation in extent of differentiation and reflect less depleted mantle sources than HSB.

Boron concentrations in the Expedition 352 boninite glasses analyzed range from 0.08 to 12.91 ppm, arsenic contents vary from 0.15 to 3.26 ppm, and cesium varies from 0.01 to 0.91 ppm. Lithium concentrations in the boninites range from 1 to 18.35 ppm while Tl concentrations vary from 10 to 155 ppb. FME concentrations trend toward higher values in HSB than in LSB.

Low-Si boninites appear to form via simple mixing of depleted mantle source and an FME enriched fluid endmember, which mobilizes B, As, Cs, (Tl) and Li very early in the subduction process. Coupled with inputs from upwelling mantle, this FME-rich fluid triggers fluid-fluxed boninite melting.

The high-Si boninites reflect the addition of a subduction component with a higher Ba/La ratio than that of the depleted mantle; this higher ratio more closely resembles that of Mariana cherts from altered Pacific crust. Thus, the high-Si boninites are consistent with the fluid-fluxed melting of a highly depleted, harzburgitic mantle source and reflect inputs of two distinguishable slab-derived components, one that is sedimentary in nature and another that is FME-enriched. This model for melting that is more similar to the melting regime of modern arcs and reflects the transition from early extension-related melting into that of a “normal” subduction system.