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Here we show that along-strike volcanic variability in the Quaternary Cascades Arc is primarily related to variations in the flux of basalt into the crust, rather than variations in their crustal storage history.This approach shows promise for studying other large-scale frontier geologic problems in volcanic arcs.Mantle-derived magmas are input into the crust, where they are stored, crystallize, and trigger crustal melting, which in some combination produces the variation in eruptive behavior (eruptive style, composition, and flux) observed along striking a volcanic arc Resolving the importance of crust and mantle processes is clearly important to understanding arc-scale volcanic diversity.
Helens and Soufrière Hills, can be ported to other parts of the systems that are less well known.
Moreover, geochemical sampling of arc volcanics is strongly biased by these locations of intense interest, such as well exposed or recently active volcanoes, and geochemical sampling programs are almost never designed to produce ergodic or representative datasets of erupted compositions through space and time.
This is exemplified by the summary cartoon figures that classically accompany papers from the relevant scientific communities (including those we have written ourselves), with “disembodied volcanoes” missing the lower half of the magmatic system in the volcanology literature, or oversized “emoji volcanoes” that only allude to a shallower magmatic system in mantle-oriented petrologic studies (Fig. Representative figures from different communities studying volcanoes.
Left, archetypical mantle-focused subduction cartoon with an “emoji volcano” that only alludes to a shallower magmatic system.
Thus, understanding how subduction can produce a volcanic record that is highly episodic and heterogeneous in space and time is an extant grand challenge for subduction science.
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Furthermore, resolving the ultimate controls over the causes of volcanic and magmatic diversity in arcs has important ramifications for understanding the dynamics of continental margins, mantle flow behavior, and volcanic hazards.
The result is that geochemical and petrological datasets are hard to reconcile and compare with the regional and integrative datasets produced by many geophysical studies, and this leads to qualitative, rather than quantitative comparisons.
Finally, understanding of the larger-scale controls on volcanism and magmatism is also limited by the common approach of focusing on only one part of the subduction system (e.g., upper crust or mantle wedge), with very limited consideration of the feedbacks and interactions that occur across the entire arc system.
Investigating such arc-scale issues requires greater quantitative comparison of geophysical and geochemical data, linked through sets of common intensive variables.
To work towards these goals, we use observed lava compositions to estimate the heat budget associated with Quaternary volcanism in the Cascades Arc and compare this to the heat required to produce the observed geophysical properties of the crust.