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ISSN  2096-3955

CN  10-1502/P

Citation: He, X. B., Tao, J. T., Cao, Y., Pan, F. B., He, E. Y., Cao, L. M., and Zheng, Y. X. (2022). No seamount subduction, no magmatic arc?. Earth Planet. Phys., 6(4), 424–429.

2022, 6(4): 424-429. doi: 10.26464/epp2022031


No seamount subduction, no magmatic arc?


Department of Ocean Exploration & Technology, Zhejiang Ocean University, Zhoushan Zhejiang 316022, China


School of Earth Sciences, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China


Key Laboratory of Ocean and Marginal Sea Geology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510301, China


Department of Marine Sciences, Zhejiang University, Zhoushan Zhejiang 316021, China

Corresponding author: XiaoBo He,

Received Date: 2022-01-11
Web Publishing Date: 2022-05-07

Water is essential for the formation of a magmatic arc by lowering the melting temperature of materials in the mantle wedge. As such, it is logical to attribute the absence of a magmatic arc to insufficient water released from the subducting plate, although a number of other factors may cause volcanic arc quiescence as well, such as a slab window or flat slab subduction. In this contribution, we present a possible but testable correlation between the occurrence of a magmatic arc and seamount subduction in light of bathymetric data obtained near trenches. This correlation, if it holds true, in turn means that a magmatic arc is unlikely to occur when the subducting slabs have not been severely fractured and that one of the main reasons for excluding effects such as the slab window or flat slab subduction may be that the plate is not accompanied by seamounts. Therefore, the role that seamount subduction plays in recycling water back into the mantle deserves more attention from the earth sciences community.

Key words: seamount subduction, arc volcano, slab dehydration, slab faulting, bathymetric anomaly

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No seamount subduction, no magmatic arc?

XiaoBo He, JunTao Tao, Yi Cao, FaBin Pan, EnYuan He, LingMin Cao, YiXian Zheng