Volcanism in slab tear faults is larger than that in island-arcs and back-arcs
Luca Cocchi, Salvatore Passaro, Fabio Caratori Tontini, Guido Ventura
Subduction-transform edge propagators are lithospheric tears bounding slabs and back-arc basins. The volcanism at these edges is enigmatic because it is lacking comprehensive geological and geophysical data. Here we present bathymetric, potential-field data, and direct observations of the seafloor on the 90 km long Palinuro volcanic chain overlapping the E-W striking tear of the roll-backing Ionian slab in Southern Tyrrhenian Sea. The volcanic chain includes arc-type central volcanoes and fissural, spreading-type centers emplaced along second-order shears. The volume of the volcanic chain is larger than that of the neighbor island-arc edifices and back-arc spreading center. Such large volume of magma is associated to an upwelling of the isotherms due to mantle melts upraising from the rear of the slab along the tear fault. The subduction-transform edge volcanism focuses localized spreading processes and its magnitude is underestimated. This volcanism characterizes the subduction settings associated to volcanic arcs and back-arc spreading centers.