Forearc structure in the Lesser Antilles inferred from depth to the Curie temperature and thermo-mechanical simulations

Lydie-Sarah Gailler 1 Diane Arcay 2 Philippe Münch 2 Guillaume Martelet 3, 4, 5 Isabelle Thinon 4, 3, 5 Jean-Frédéric Lebrun 2
5 Géodynamique - UMR7327
BRGM - Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM), ISTO - Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orléans - UMR7327 : UMR7327, INSU - CNRS - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers , UO - Université d'Orléans : UMR7327
Abstract : Imaging deep active volcanic areas remains a challenge in our understanding of their activity and evolution, especially in subduction zones. Study of magnetic anomalies is appropriate to access such dynamics in depth. The magnetic anomaly pattern of the Lesser Antilles Arc (LAA) subduction is studied through Curie Point Depth (CPD), interpreted as the depth of the 580 °C isotherm, and developed to better assess the deep thermal structure of the arc. The depth of the estimated CPD exhibits a complex topography. Keeping in mind the overall uncertainty associated with this method, a main doming is evidenced below the Guadeloupe archipelago. Its apex is shifted towards the ancient arc, suggesting a very hot state of the fore-arc/arc domain. To better understand the LAA thermal state, we perform 2D thermo-mechanical simulations of the subduction zone. Recalling that magnetite is a serpentinization by-product, we simulate water transfer triggered by slab dehydration to test the assumption of fore-arc serpentinization suggested by the positive magnetic anomaly in the vicinity of the Guadeloupe archipelago. In this area, the subduction-induced arc lithosphere hydration and related weakening trigger a fast heating of the upper plate by basal convective removal. This process of fast arc lithosphere thinning may apply where simultaneously the volcanic arc is split in two and normal convergence is high enough. As serpentinization strongly decreases P-wave velocity, we propose a new interpretation of a published seismic profile below Guadeloupe. The seismic layer previously interpreted as the arc lower crust may rather be a layer of serpentinized mantle, as supported by spatial correlations between gravimetric and magnetic anomalies. Consequently, at the scale of Guadeloupe Island, the fore-arc Moho would be shallower than initially assumed, with a dome shape more consistent with both the extensive deformation active since the Oligocene in the inner fore-arc and the CPD doming.
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Lydie-Sarah Gailler, Diane Arcay, Philippe Münch, Guillaume Martelet, Isabelle Thinon, et al.. Forearc structure in the Lesser Antilles inferred from depth to the Curie temperature and thermo-mechanical simulations. Tectonophysics, Elsevier, 2017, 706-707, pp.71-90. ⟨10.1016/j.tecto.2017.03.014⟩. ⟨insu-01505300⟩

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