Various Ages of Recycled Material in the Source of Cenozoic Basalts in SE China: Implications for the Role of the Hainan Plume

Yanqing Li, Hiroshi Kitagawa, Eizo Nakamura, Changqian Ma, Xiangyun Hu, Katsura Kobayashi, Chie Sakaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Subduction processes introduce crustal materials into the mantle, and mantle plumes return them to the surface. However, when and how the subducted materials were recorded in the plume-related basalts remains unclear. Here we investigate geochronology, bulk-rock composition, and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopes of Cenozoic basalts from Southeast China, occurring near the west Pacific subduction zone and the seismically detected Hainan plume. Volcanism beginning in the late Oligocene in the continental margin of SE China consistently becomes younger landward. Together with a compilation of published results on the synchronous basalts from the South China Sea seamounts and the Indochina peninsula, the volcanoes close to the Pacific subduction zone exhibit more radiogenic Pb and Sr isotopes associated with less radiogenic Nd isotopes compared with those of the inland volcanoes. Such spatiotemporal variations in radiogenic isotopes imply oceanic crusts of different ages in the source, each corresponding to a different geographical volcanic belt. Major-element features such as low CaO, high TiO2 and high Fe/Mn ratios imply that pyroxenite/eclogite could serve as a source lithology of the SE China basalts. Specific trace-element signatures reveal the important roles of recycled oceanic crust along with surface sediment, which was inconsistently dehydrated during subduction. A geologically, geochemically, and geophysically plausible scenario is proposed to illustrate the time-space-source correlation of the late Cenozoic basaltic lavas in SE Asia. The Hainan plume delivered the ancient subducted crust (1·5 Ga) from the core-mantle boundary and, subsequently, the subducted Pacific plate crustal materials from the mantle transition zone to the shallow mantle as a result of mantle convection induced by continuous subduction of the Pacific plate. Such recycled materials of different ages contributed to the geographical compositional heterogeneities of the late Cenozoic basaltic lavas in SE Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberegaa060
JournalJournal of Petrology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2020


  • Cenozoic basalts
  • Hainan plume
  • SE China
  • petrogenesis
  • recycled oceanic crust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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