A volcanic production rate for the Mariana island arc

J. C. Sample, D. E. Karig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Despite the importance of volcanic production rates along subducting plate boundaries, few reliable values are available. A well-constrained rate has here been determined for the past 5 m.y. in the Mariana island arc. The calculation covers the period during the opening of the Mariana Trough (an active back-arc basin) in which the volcanic centers are located and most volcanic products are contained. About half the extruded volcanic rocks occur in central cones, with the other half in a large volcanicclastic apron. After correction of volumes for porosity and for changes in mineral densities, the average extrusion rate of 12.4 km3/km/m.y. was calculated. The local rate varies along the arc roughly as does the subduction rate. Before quantification of that correlation can be made, however, apparent temporal fluctuations of volcanism on a global scale, which do not appear to be correlated with subduction rates, must be examined and explained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-82
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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