Geochemical evolution of an Ordovician island arc, south Mayo, Ireland

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Early Ordovician volcanic rocks exposed in the South Mayo region of western Ireland document the history of a volcanic arc complex, produced following the initiation of south-dipping subduction within the Iapetus Ocean in the Late Cambrian or Early Ordovician. Trace element studies of the basaltic members of the Lough Nafooey Group show a strong subduction zone influence. The basaltic Bohaun Volcanic Formation (Tremadoc-Arenig ?) shows greater depletion in its incompatible trace elements than the Lough Nafooey Group, so indicating a more depleted mantle source. Comparison with modern arc systems suggests that the Bohaun Volcanic Formation was probably generated shortly after the initiation of subduction and was erupted in a more trenchward position than the Lough Nafooey Group (i.e. in the forearc). This confirms a south-dipping polarity to the subduction zone, and suggests an age of initiation during the Late Cambrian or earliest Ordovician. -from Authors

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Journal - Geological Society (London)

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